ARTSEED’S MISSION – ArtSeed aims to bring into the lives of young people, life-long love for creativity, knowledge, and generosity. Its mission is to connect diverse communities and cultures through professional artists who interact with them in fine arts studio projects and long-term apprenticeships. ArtSeed works with the notion that youngsters are vastly capable beyond what their early years might suggest. Treated with dignity and respect, they are offered ideas and materials that challenge them to understand and embrace the many rich possibilities that lie ahead of them.
ARTSEED’S GOALS – ArtSeed youngsters interact with professional artists for long-term instruction and projects that take place both in studio groups and one-on-one apprenticeships. Experimental and traditional visual arts practices form the basis our activities. We know first-hand that young people are fascinated by “grown-up” concepts that can push their own ideas about what art can be way beyond “kid stuff.” Some of our youngsters have learning differences, as well as financial or social difficulties. By exposing them to professional discipline and practical skills, however, we see how they can mature to discover their unique creative gifts. We have witnessed that excellence and discipline learned in one field — in ArtSeed’s case, art-making — are transferable down the line to other disciplines, be they academic, job-related, or simply good citizenship. ArtSeed alumni are living proof that tangible, meaningful arts experiences can have substantial impact on young lives.
ARTSEED’S ORIGINS – ArtSeed was founded in 2000 by teaching artist Josefa Vaughan and three years later received its 501(C)(3) non-profit status. Her vision for the organization developed out of her own sustained mentorship as a youngster. Weekly lessons and collegiality with an older artist taught her to develop the discipline and self-assurance that led to her career as a painter. Stepping from the studio to the classroom, Vaughan worked collaboratively with other artists to develop the philosophy and methodology that guide ArtSeed. That philosophy stresses sustained, inter-generational relationships between youngsters and older creative people. It includes the use of professional materials, even by the youngest children, along with exposure to important works from all periods, not least of all our own. Vaughan was joined early on by teaching artist and co-founder Marissa Kunz.