By Val Poalillo
Studios on the Park, in partnership with the Regional Transit Authority of San Luis Obispo County (RTA), proudly unveiled their "Youth Art In Motion" project in March. Selected RTA buses are displaying original youth art. This is the first public art project of its kind in the region. The collaboration features various colorful original art images by Studios on the Park's youth art group known as Artists Re-Imagining Color (ARC). Dozens of community members including RTA executives Aimee Wyatt & Geoff Straw, Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham, and Paso Robles City Councilman Fred Strong were in attendance to support the talented ARC members and view their creative work at the unveiling ceremony. The participating artists: Patrick Keating (20), Chris Love (18), Natalie Nicolay (13), Kyler Olson (19), Beth Reninger (20), Jacob Scotti (20) and Kit Toevs (19) worked with project advisor and artist Henry A J Ramos to create imaginative designs of the Central Coast's most iconic landmarks.
The county-serving buses carrying the new youth art works operate as part of RTA's regional fleet, bringing art into the daily lives of passengers and passersby. The first cycle of "Youth Art In Motion" decals will be on display through Summer 2013.
The ARC group originally formed as the STUDIOS ON THE PARK Teen Art Group. It is an active community of teens and young adults who lead and participate in a broad range of private and public arts projects. ARC meets weekly on Saturday afternoons to pursue creative projects of the group's choosing. Through these projects STUDIOS ON THE PARK aims to support positive youth civic engagement and arts education, under the advisement of artist and Studios board member Ramos. Since its inception in 2009, the group has supported the creative development and expression of nearly 40 young people ages 15-22 (some of them troubled by family, school and law enforcement challenges) throughout Paso Robles and the region. In partnership with community institutions, the group’s work has principally produced large scale mural projects on contemporary social and community themes, including promoting inter-group tolerance, and championing public safety. Participating area teens and young adults represent the region's broad range of racial, ethnic, class and geographical realities. Their successful engagement in these series of projects underscores the need for more significant local support for positive youth art activities and more structured efforts to engage young people in regional civic affairs and cross-cultural exchanges.
STUDIOS ON THE PARK was founded in December of 2007 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a creative, educational, and transformational experience to enhance understanding and appreciation of the visual arts.