‘Positive Place for Kids’: Inaugural art show at clubhouse

January 22, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times

A renowned artist is working with local members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley preparing for the premiere exhibit that will showcase creativity generated at the Santa Paula location for “The Positive Place for Kids!” 

The show will be held February 5 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Santa Paula/Harvard Clubhouse, 1400 E. Harvard Blvd.

It is the first time such an exhibit has been held at the clubhouse, a program that Club Executive Director Jan Marholin said resulted from a Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation grant.

When Marholin secured the grant, the nonprofit Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation provided the funds for the club to hire Virginia Neuman of Fillmore, “To work with our youth on a weekly basis during the year,” an effort resulting in the February 5 show.

After the artwork debuts Marholin said, “A huge bonus for our Santa Paula youth is that Jennifer Heighton and Meg Phelps from the Santa Paula Art Museum have partnered with us,” to frame the student art for a display at the museum.

Marholin said the project, “allows our youth to explore their creativity with different art media such as watercolor, tempera and pencil sketch among others. 

“Mrs. Neuman is a renowned artist that has partnered with me at San Cayetano Elementary School in Fillmore,” where Marholin retired as principal, “and also Club kids in Fillmore. She is amazing in that she elicits the best art from these kids that will rival any high school art show.” 

Neuman is a versatile artist known for paintings and portraits in oil, acrylic and watercolor, painted pillows, brochures, logos and murals. 

Originally from London, Neuman was educated at Chelsea School of Art; she has not only taught art in the Fillmore Unified School District but she also established the Piru School Independent Art program. In addition, she continues to teach art at San Cayetano School as well as at Westlake Montessori School and the Fillmore Senior Center.

On her website Neuman, whose work had been sold in the United States as well as Europe, notes she believes the purpose of creation is the “expansion of happiness. Painting is my small contribution to that goal.”

The Mission of the club is “To inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.”

Said Marholin of the art program, February 5 opening show and subsequent display at the Santa Paula Art Museum: “This is truly a win-win for our youth,” who have worked with an acclaimed artist and can “say they have had a piece of artwork hang in an art museum...how proud their families will be!”

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