Children find expression through Calexico’s Art Festival

3 year old Dylan Ramirez plays Picasso at Calexico Farmers Market on Saturday morning.

Calexico –  Calexico held a Farmer’s Market Saturday, at Crummett Park next to Camarena Memorial Public Library art festival giving local children an opportunity to participate in hands-on art activities.

“This is the sixth year we did this.  It is an effort to bring kids out to have fun and promote the arts.  We combine this with the Farmer’s Market to bring people together for a fun, family event,” said Calexico community service director, Sandra Tauler.

Ten local social service agencies sponsored booths, each site providing different activities to engage the children.

The Imperial County Office of Education focused on “making dreams a success” by children building dream catchers out of paper plates, crayons, color dabbers, and yarn.

“We like to promote comprehensive educational services.  We assist newborns to five-year old’s and pregnant mommies as well.  This has been an awesome open ended activity with no right or wrong approach.  We just want the kids to explore, since it’s all hands on here at the Art Festival,” commented Imperial County Office of Education Early Care and Education specialist, Alma Martinez.

The public library booths attracted children by offering stencil design coloring and macaroni wind-chime assembly.  The activity allowed the young ones to hone their patience and concentration skills as they glued and placed tiny pasta pieces on construction paper.

Other booths offered canvases with medium sized brushes and acrylic paint for the young aspiring artists to dabble and create whatever image or portrait came to mind.

A determined little girl worked diligently on her picture as an eye eventually arose from the assortment of lines and hues.

“This is an eye full of designs with mixed colors all around it,” said Kristen from El Centro.  I saw an artist at a Farmer’s Market paint it before and I drew it too when I got home.  So, I thought of painting it today when I got the chance.  To me it means an eye on the future,” she added.

The bright greens and yellows appeared to resemble an abstract image on the next young Da Vinci’s piece.

“It’s my first time drawing this kind of picture.  I don’t know what to call it.  I guess I just want it to look like art.  I like to use a lot of colors and mix them,” elaborated Adan of Calexico.

Children of many ages took part in the Farmer’s Market / Art function, but the youngest participant was a three-year-old boy, Dylan Ramirez, from Calexico, accompanied by his mom and dad.

“At first, he we couldn’t even get him out of the car.  It wasn’t until he noticed the aisles and the paint brushes that he wiggled out of his car seat and booked it through the park straight for the canvas painting.  He remembered this from earlier art sessions last year at the Calexico Public Library,” explained Dylan’s mother, Alex O’Campo, regarding the impact children’s art festivals have on even the youngest people.