Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Little Artist/Big Artist Program

Kourtney/Holli Brown
Little Artist/Big Artist Program

The Cherrywood Art Fair isn’t just about great local art, music and food, not simply a wonderful place to do your holiday shopping, greet neighbors, and Keep Austin Interesting in a festive holiday setting. In reality, the CAF supports a larger mission: creating art education opportunities for young people in East Austin. The Little Artist/Big Artist project connects local art students with established local artists, giving kids the chance to experience art-making outside of school, and showing them a glimpse of expanded possibilities for the future.

Little Artist/Big Artist pairs six Maplewood sixth graders with six CAF artist participants. Each student/artist team is creating two works of art:(or more),one to be sold in the Silent Auction at the show, one to be kept by the student.

Facilitating these experiences, and promoting art and art education in general, is only a part of the mission of the Cherrywood Urban Landscape and Arts League (CHULA), a non-profit organization designed to benefit arts and artful landscape in East Austin. Previously, CHULA has funded beautification projects on 38.5 street and in Patterson Park, and art lessons for a deserving East Austin student (taught by an equally-deserving, under-funded Austin artist). The Art Fair is CHULA’s main annual fundraising event.

Jane Walton, CHULA treasurer and Art Fair coordinator, envisioned and created the Little Artist/Big Artist project. She said, “My experience in life has been that one thing leads to another. Every artist can point to a time and a person that changed the course for them; someone who listened, or who they listened to; someone who believed in them; or someone whose lack of belief in them gave them the angry energy to move in a direction that changed their lives. I think the more we can provide opportunities for this kind of serendipity, the more that possibilities are multiplied.”

Last year, Cherry wood Art Fair brought over 4,000 visitors to Cherrywood to enjoy the work of over 80 artists and musicians. This year’s event on December 12-13 promises to be no less spectacular. Visit for more info.