To create interdisciplinary spaces for all visual and multi-cultural arts, particularly for children and youth, where opportunities for education, mentorship, and practices abound.
Hijos del Sol Arts Productions provides professional art instruction for children and youth of historically underserved and impoverished neighborhoods, including a large number from homeless or migrant families. Hijos del Sol provides consistent studio space and the necessary tools and materials to complete different kinds of art projects—thanks entirely to committed volunteers. Throughout each year, they execute collective exhibits for student artists to showcase and sell their work. In addition to visual arts instruction, they provide ample opportunity for exploration with interdisciplinary forms; exposure to historical and cultural traditions; and practice with core life competencies, all while fostering the value of post-secondary education. An important strategy is bringing on older youth apprentices to act as mentors to younger children.
I started when I was 11 by drawing, painting and washing the brushes and the buckets—and I still do that—but now I have other responsibilities, too. My current role is graphic designer and exhibit designer for Hijos del Sol. I also instruct classes teaching children how to draw, paint, fabricate and work with their hands. Hijos del Sol’s main value for young students is to find what they are capable of doing. During the process of drawing, they may find another skill, like talking, and may become more expressive and may like what they find about themselves. It’s important to find themselves, to like themselves, and explore what they can do.
- David, age 21