--- Issued August 26, 2015

If there's one life-lesson the young HACE participants in The YMCA Kids Club Art show for the John E. Horan Garden Apartments are learning, it's this:

"Just try to learn something new -- it won't hurt."


Participants in the second John E. Horan Garden Apartments second annual art show, seen from the YMCA balcony. Shown on our website's slide show, front page, with a friend's submission, is Aliya Knight.

Where art is concerned, says Angela Howell, "The worst that can happen is you have to repaint your canvas. It's a lot like life."

Howell is art and theater director for the Kids Club at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments.

"Just trying to do art or theater gives you confidence to try other things," she says.

Since the first of the year Howell has worked with Cherie Kinem,  
director of YMCA Housing Authority Programs, to ready 32 young residents of HACE  for the second annual "YMCA Kids Club at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments Art Show.  

She spent three to four hours a week at the Kids Club working with the children.

Iyannah Serrano proudly holds her photographic submission.

The show runs Wednesday, August 26, through Monday, May 31 at the Downtown YMCA.  Art presented -- and sold by the children -- at the show includes photography, paintings, and mixed media collages, everything from decoupage on Plexiglas to sculpture with air dried clay shells.

The paintings are unique -- crayon and paper silhouettes on canvas.

"The kids start with a blank canvas.  They glue a black paper silhouette on that.  Then they glue crayons across the top of the canvas, and finally, use a hair drier to melt the crayons and make the colored wax run down the canvas."

Howell said that at least one of every type of artwork has been sold so far. Sixty-five pieces of art were submitted.

Pieces were being sold at prices ranging from $5 to $20 each, with the minimum donation being $5.

"This builds confidence," Kinem says.  "The kids learned something they might not have ever considered learning -- and then made money by selling their works.  It was an eye opener, with so many children thinking," I can pursue what I enjoy and maybe even earn money doing it."

Kinem says the children had never seen an art show before and had no idea what to expect.

"When they saw their works on display for everyone to see, their jaws dropped," she said.

Kinem said that later this year she will take the children to an art show at Mercyhurst University, to show them what the adult version of such a show is like.