|March 26, 2012 • VOL. 50, NO. 6 • Oakland, CA|
Art enlivens hall of Event Center
Visitors to the Event Center at the Cathedral of Christ the Light are being treated to the first exhibit in the newly created Art Hall, a collaboration of the Catholic Cathedral Corp. of the East Bay and the Cathedral Shop.
"We're very happy to be serving the community," Deacon Gonzales said of the center's 18-year commitment to students. The center serves middle school students from Catholic, charter and public schools during the afternoon. In the evening, high school students receive assistance. English as a Second Language classes for adults are held in the daytime.
For the middle school students, homework comes first. "After all the homework is done in the afternoon," Deacon Gonzales said, "sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders can do various things."
That's when the art supplies come out. "Some children really love doing art," he said. The center runs on a shoestring budget — students are asked to pay a $25 registration fee, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. "As a nonprofit, we try to be thrifty," Deacon Gonzales said. "We take pieces of wood and paint on them."
During his 12 years at the center, first as a teacher, many students have shown an interest in calligraphy, a subject he studied in his university days.
One of those students is Sara Elizabeth Càrdenas, who studied calligraphy with him for three years when she was a student at St. Martin de Porres School. Sara, 14, is now a freshman at Bishop O'Dowd High School. Two of her works, incorporating quotations from Mother Teresa and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., are on display in Art Hall.
The artworks, all on paper, on exhibit in Art Hall, derive from lessons by Lasallian Volunteer Rosa Kardera-Redman. Deacon Gonzales watched those lessons.
The artists started by taping off a rectangle on a sheet of paper. Then they applied acrylic paint, "all over the place," Deacon Gonzales said. With a combination of brushstrokes and dabbing techniques, they created texture. "When she pulled the tape, I couldn't believe it," he said.
The resulting artworks provide delightful surprises of color, texture and images. The first show will remain on display through May 31.
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