The Gallery celebrates children’s works

By: Jeannine Lejeune
CROWLEY - It wasn’t a typical gala at The Gallery. Instead of award-winning artists, wine and a variety of foods; there were children, punch and desserts and lots of them.

The result, however, was just the same. Artists proud of their work and onlookers amazed at what they saw.

The Gallery in Crowley hosted an “Artist Come in All Sizes” cookies and punch gala Aug. 7, 2010. The gala showed all the works from the eight children’s summer workshops taught by seven local artists.

Many of the participants were present to show off their work to family and friends. The children did a wide variety of art this summer including drawing, painting, mosaics, sculpting and even some writing.

Reneé deBellevue served as the first instructor this summer with her “Fun with Painting” workshop that ran from May 31 through June 4. In her class, painting was mixed with other subjects such as writing and music.

“Art is important for development and it helps in other subjects,” said deBellevue. “As Einstein said, ‘Creativity is the highest form of intelligence’.”

As an art teacher not only for the summer, but also at Crowley High since 1989, deBellevue has used art to help students express themselves in more than just one medium. This summer, she taught a creative writing, creative expression, visual music, aboriginal bead art, abstract circles and self expressive live drawing to the children who attended their class.

For deBellevue to mix subjects as she did, some creativity was necessary. For example, students in her class had to pick a character to paint and write a short story about them.

“Teaching is my passion. I do what I love and I love what I do, so life for me is good,” she said.

She is also an accomplished artist herself, and is especially known for her bird paintings. She has been referred to as “The French Audubon.” She has also taught at the Crowley Summer Camp for the past 10 years at both the Rice Festival Building and Martin Luther King Jr. Center sites. She is also a member of the Performing Art Society in Lafayette and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

“I love Crowley,” said deBellevue. “And the arts [and programs like these] are good for the children, good for Crowley and good for the economy.”

It wasn’t however, just deBellevue’s class’s works on display there were mosaics done by Delana Rouse’s class, drawings of several subjects from Shirley Griffin’s class, several types of sculptures from different classes and many other mediums and art types were on display. The children all proudly showed off their works to their parents, family and friends.

The instructors themselves also enjoyed the show; many of which found favorites and marveled at the pieces that came from children age nine and older.

“The whole show is just fantastic and great,” said deBellevue. “Young children experiencing art is so important. It is so fulfilling and elating to see all their work.”

The Gallery will host a class for children during the school year as well. Tuesdays, starting Oct. 6, Robert Baxter will be instructing a class on acrylics and drawing for children ages nine and older from 4 to 6 p.m. Pre-registration is required and can be done so by calling 783-3747 and the cost is $10 per class.

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