The Brentwood Art Society recently presented the district’s board of trustees with a check for $10,000 toward the purchase of art supplies and instructional materials to keep the art docent program functioning in Brentwood schools.
“Back when the district had only three elementary schools, there was an art instructor who rotated between the schools, but when we hit seven elementary schools, that was no longer feasible,” said Brentwood Art Society Board member and retired educator Mary Black.
“For the past decade, the schools have relied on art docents, parent volunteers, to keep the arts alive in our schools.”
Brentwood Director of Curriculum and Instruction Michael Bowen said the annual donation made by the Art Society is crucial to keeping arts programs in Brentwood. The Society has also been an integral partner in the establishment of the Student Art Show, which features work from students at the district’s seven elementary and three middle schools. Each school submits student artwork to the Art Society, which mats, frames and professionally displays the works at a makeshift gallery at Sunset Plaza. This year’s show opens May 12.
“We are so grateful to have the support from our parent volunteers and the Brentwood Art Society,” Bowen said.
“Everyone is an artist, but our youngest students don’t always understand that, so it means a lot for them to see their work on display. And it’s an honor to share their work with the community. There’s a lot of talent in our district.”
In Bowen’s view, since art education (visual and performing arts) offers a cultural component students can’t get straight from a textbook, it’s vital to retain arts programs. Students are able to create and interact with various media and gain a cultural awareness that can’t be replicated in a lecture.
Black agreed: “All civilizations are built around the arts. It’s the lasting part of our culture. People come and go, but the art remains. Supporting local arts programs is what the Brentwood Art Society is all about.”
The Brentwood Union School District Student Art Show, located at 7760 Brentwood Blvd., Suite B, runs May 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; May 15 through 24 from 4 to 7 p.m.; and May 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A student reception and awards ceremony will be held May 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 925-206-5087.