More than 600 pieces of art from Del Norte County students will be on display at the Crescent City Cultural Center this weekend in celebration of Earth Day.

The show represents a partnership with the California Redwoods Art Association and Del Norte County Unified School District, according to Tanya Winston, who is coordinating the event. The art show will be open to sixth-graders only Thursday and Friday and will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday, Winston said.

“It will be a special time for the sixth-graders,” Winston said of the showing, adding that students from Margaret Keating, Smith River and Redwood schools will be bussed to the art show. “There will be four different tables for them to create an art piece to take home. They will have lunch. Also, we’ve arranged for the docents to be the kids.”

Winston, who is a substitute teacher for the district, said the Children’s Earth Day Art Show is the culmination of a dream she and California Redwoods Art Association President Tim Donovan had to bring art back into local schools.

The association met with Del Norte County Unified School District Superintendent Jeff Harris, signed a memorandum of understanding with the district and met with many of its teachers to find out what they wanted, Winston said.

The result was a program called “Art in Action.” The California Redwoods Art Association provided each school in the district up to $500 to cover the cost of materials and created a “menu” of artists that would provide lessons and demonstrations in the classroom. Workshops cover topics including pen and ink, collage and mixed media, pottery, printmaking, oil painting and 3D printing.

These workshops are held all year, according to association member Claudia Frances.

“We hear so much in the last few years about how they’re cutting back funding in the schools for art classes, so the California Redwoods Art Association is working with the school district to bring it back,” Frances said. “It’s a way the community is collaborating together to fill those holes.”

This weekend’s art show is also a way for the students they’ve worked with to display what they’ve created, Winston said.

“To me it has a deeper feeling,” Winston said, of the workshops the art association offers to local youth. “Our children, they’re the next generation. They’re the generation that will be taking over Crescent City and we want them to be as well rounded both academically and artistically. If they have an artistic background, they have a totally different way of looking at life.”

The Children’s Earth Day Art Show will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Crescent City Cultural Center, 1001 Front St., Crescent City.

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