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Art Car Parade gathers big, small entries

By Jessica Rodrigo
May 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.


Parked in two neat rows, art cars shined and glistened in the light.

Alex Galarza and his sister Kristen walked around in circles, taking in all the colors and details of the small-scale sculptures on display at the Nave Museum during Victoria's second annual Art Car Parade on Saturday.

Although the art cars weren't large enough to rally with the real art cars during the parade that cruised through downtown Victoria, they took their place among the pieces of art from Carter Ernst's "Fur Bitten" exhibit, the newest installment at the Nave.

Inside the museum, the Galarza siblings, who are part of the Manhattan Art Program at Pine Street Community Center, peered through the clear plexiglass boxes that encased the art car sculptures.

Up until the exhibit opened, the kids in the program worked on their individual and group cars to show at the museum. Michelle Evans, one of the seven teachers at the Pine Street Community Program, said the students used jewels, beads, features and paint to decorate their miniature art cars.

"They worked hard on them," she said. "At first, some of them (the students) were really quiet, and they don't talk. And by the end, they get to talking and telling me about their cars. It's been really good for them."

Alex decorated his art car with a duck he sculpted during the program. He glued it to the top of his ceramic car and added tiny shells, shiny glass beads, feathers and brass bells.

"I like ducks," the 8-year-old Hopkins Academy student said. "I don't like the crust on my bread, so they eat it for me."

His older sister, Kristen, 15, an eighth-grader at Patti Welder, took video and photos of the display case on her tablet to capture images of her art car decorated with her favorite animal: a bunny.

"It's (the video) going to be up on my Facebook page later," she said clutching a tablet and iPhone.

Their grandmother, Ofelia Galazar, has been taking them to the art program every Saturday for the past year and said they enjoy it. For two hours every weekend, her grandchildren have a chance to create art with other children in the community, she said.

"They learn a lot of different kinds of art and bring me art they make while they're there," said Ofelia Galazar.

Working with the kids has a been a great way to help them develop character, Evans said. Whether they become a plumber or an engineer, she said, the children can develop small muscle coordination - like putting in small screws - and they develop that creative aspect and conceptual part of making art.

Joel Sager, whose son Tristan also participates in the program, said he appreciates the program and has been taking his son to the Pine Street Community Center for a few months now.

Sager said it's a good chance for his son to make friends with other kids in the community.

"He gets to be with other kids, and it keeps him busy and active," said Sager about his son.

Tristan, 6, who recently graduated from First United Methodist Day School, made a shark art car sculpture and was focused on making crafts hosted by the art program. Tristan and Alex were both wrapped up in the arts and crafts and walked away from the art car event with hats they designed themselves.

"It's something very special to be able to develop a relationship with these kids," said Evans. "We really try to nurture the kids."

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