Testimonials

“ArtSeed has contributed substantially to the development of youth here at the school and in the community. Your partnership with Leola Harvard and the surrounding community has enabled youth to become immersed in, and appreciate, the value of art. You and your staff have provided youth with an oasis and safe haven from the turbulence of the neighborhood over the past decade. We, the school and community, appreciate everything you do and hope that your programs sustain themselves here at Leola Havard Early Education School.”   — Eli Horn, Site Coordinator Leola Havard Early Education School

“My daughter Anna attended last year’s Summer Intensive. This was an important event in her life. She so richly gained by meeting the other participants and staff and by learning and doing the various techniques you taught the children. I was personally most moved by the miniature oil self-portrait. Wow! Haunting! Thank you so much.”   — Yvonne Yarbrough

“Working with ArtSeed has been an absolute joy. Josefa’s energy and passion is tangible wherever you turn – in the office, the classroom, on field trips, and especially alongside young children. The number and quality of resources – both artists and artistic supplies – that Art Seed’s programs provide are the kindling to inspire young artists and propel them to careers in art. Art Seed’s style of apprenticeship teaching should be available to students throughout the nation.”— Leah Bedoian

“I am so impressed and delighted with all you do and have done with your program. It was so fun spending time with you. It would be so wonderful to have such a quality program available at our school. I’ve shared much information already with the principal of our school about your programs at Leola Havard and Sherman and summer intensives and gardens and community collaboratives with museums, it’s all very exciting! Everyone I have met from ArtSeed has been exceptionally hard working and dedicated. It’s really inspiring.”    — Gabriela, volunteer

“My daughters’ experience with ArtSeed’s Asian Art Museum partnership didn’t just have an effect on them. It turned me around! I cried when I opened our AAM membership letter, saw the membership cards and found my daughter’s picture in the magazine. We had a preview reception and the exhibition opened to the public on my birthday! Now I am dedicated to my children’s future in a new way.”   — LaDonna Johnson, parent, Leola Havard Early Education School


COMMENTS FROM AN APPRENTICESHIP

My apprenticeship with Charles Boone, mentor – “This was definitely an experience I did not expect. Shortly after I met him, Charles Boone invited me to be part of ArtSeed’s apprenticeship program. We discussed our interests and decided to do a PowerPoint presentation about old ideas and practices becoming new. Starting with the renowned composer Igor Stravinsky, Charles introduced me to many things about artists from my Russian heritage. At the San Francisco Symphony, we heard Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and afterwards I even collected the conductor’s autograph. We also saw a performance of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka in its original choreography. One afternoon we hiked around San Francisco to view significant art and buildings; among them, works by Richard Serra and Frank Lloyd Wright. Following months of looking at videos, listening to music, and doing our research, we selected images to accompany Charles’s amazing text that we performed as a dialog. After lots of rehearsals, we did the show and I really enjoyed our audience’s reactions. Charles was a great mentor and a good friend. Maybe we can do another project together.”   — Sasha Kharag, young artist

My apprenticeship with Sasha Kharag, apprentice – “I got the idea of doing something with Sasha when I heard him articulate the idea that an artist’s relationship with what has come before must play a notable role in what that artist thinks and makes. I proposed that we do something that could combine a search for what he questioned with my own interest in the subject. This old/new proposition seemed to be a particularly interesting launching point when combined with Sasha’s Russian parentage. Our primary motto came from the Soviet artist Varvara Stepanova: “Study the old, but make the new.”

“In our tour of public art in downtown San Francisco, we encountered the concept of site-specific works through sculptures by Claes Oldenbueg/Koosje van Bruggen and others. We also saw kinetic sculpture by George Rickey along with conceptually conceived work by Sol LeWitt. What we observed about all of these art pieces led in directly to what we produced some months down the line. Our ideas included the many ways Stepanova’s dictum has been realized over time, specifically, how memory plays a role in the conception of art; how commemoration of things past has been accomplished in a variety of media (painting, music, literature, and architecture, among them), and how artists (Le Corbusier, Picasso, and Palladio, to name but three) took aspects both of their own heritages and even exotic cultures to make fresh statements. The idea, for example, that van Gogh copied a woodcut of Hiroshigi was a stunning revelation, as was the discovery that Le Corbusier’s chapel at Ronchamp, wildly modern in its execution, retains important aspects of Renaissance and Gothic cathedrals. Sasha has considerable skill in the technical aspects of PowerPoint-making. The whole show took forty-five minutes and obviously went far beyond any sort of high school oral report. Our public presentation of this finished collaboration took place seven days before Sasha turned fourteen. It was a treat working with this fine young colleague.”   — Charles Boone, artist & mentor


COMMENTS FROM JOSEFA VAUGHAN, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Roberto, James, and Paul were Bayview elementary school students who were often in trouble and punished by teachers for various misdeeds. After sustained involvement in ArtSeed’s afterschool Apprenticeship program we witnessed remarkable transformations. Roberto earned over $100 in commissions from art he sold that had been made by others. James used to draw the same truck over and over and refused to write. I recently received a letter from him that said, “ArtSeed last year was fun because my best friend he helped me to draw hard draw and he helped me to get better at it.” He has continued on with his artistic endeavors and has earned another year’s apprenticeship. Paul was the star pupil of the 2012 Fine Arts Summer Intensive.

Dina and Syd are teens who are best friends. Dina’s has become ArtSeed’s Youth Council President saying, “Josefa didn’t only teach me about painting, pastels, and watercolors, but also about business aspects of a nonprofit organization. She gave me the script of a play to read that inspired me to make a picture. She showed my work to the play’s director in L. A. who liked it so much that she used it for a poster announcing the play. That made me feel proud and like a real artist! It was a great moment for me and was almost life changing.” Syd focused on a project with ArtSeed filmmaker Trey Houston with whom she had open and thoughtful discussions. He mentored her for two years in photography and video, culminating in the creation of her own film.”

Michelle and Mauricio are recent UCSC graduates who were ArtSeed students in 2007 through our partnership with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where we designed the curriculum for, and Josefa taught, the Young Artists at Work Program. Mauricio’s custodian mother and truck-driver father support his goal to be a professional artist, especially now that he has been paid to help curate and install an exhibition and has received a portrait commission. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Michelle has begun a career in real estate. Recently, after taking Josefa and Mauricio to lunch and making a donation to ArtSeed, she wrote, “Following my being an ArtSeed student, my internship with the organization brought me to San Francisco’s Bay View neighborhood and the Burnett Child Development Center, now Leola Havard. There I witnessed the incredible transformation a child goes through once given a creative outlet. The ArtSeed faculty was really dedicated and passionate, engaging with children in ways that extended beyond the classroom. Included in my internship was the opportunity to take on responsibility in arts administration. The value of learning workplace dynamics for a young student was immeasurable. Six years later, I can say without hesitation that ArtSeed provided me with not only the support and guidance to better develop my skill set, but more importantly, it shaped my character as a leader. My association with this organization has had immense ramifications in the way I lead my life.”