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Boys and Girls Club's ArtFest Celebration
By: Jason Gutierrez

Posted by Jason1983 Thu Oct 8, 2009 10:12:56 PDT
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A brush stroke; a click of a camera; the imagination of a child, ArtFest isn’t your typical art auction. It’s an event celebrating young talent and has become the building block of childhood dreams come true. This isn’t just a fundraiser; it is the heart and soul of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County.

Every year a signature piece of artwork is chose as the “face” of ArtFest. This year it is a “Fruity Snack,” that will catch the public’s eye courtesy of the talents of Emily Delgado, 14.
I was inspired to paint this piece because I know ArtFest is a good cause and I knew that it would help out the other kids that come here,” she says. “I like ArtFest. It’s a lot of fun. I like seeing the art sold. I didn’t have anything for sale last year, but I do this year and I’m excited.”
Emily has only lived in Bakersfield for seven years. A seemingly shy and timid child at first, Emily says the Boys and Girls Club has helped her open up and discover new things about herself and has allowed her to make new friends.
“When I was younger, my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to come to the club and make new friends,” she says. “I was really scared coming here at first. The second day wasn’t so bad because I started talking to people. Now, coming here is fun every day.”
Over the years, Art Fest has grown from a simple, yet entertaining community event to a much-desired and highly attended community affair. It started with a simple idea of holding a silent and live auction of artworks, to raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County.
Now ArtFest has become a showcase of children’s art, making childhood dreams a reality, just ask 13-year-old, Estephanie Garcia.
“This will be my first year at ArtFest,” she says. “I’m excited because I think it’s cool for young people to be able to show their work and have people buy it.”
This year Estephanie will be auctioning off a painted flower and a piece of photography. She’s been attending the Boys and Girls Club for two years and says she’s never had more fun especially when it comes to art. “I like being to show expression through my art. It’s cool to mix paint and make pretty colors.”
Eleven-year-old Olivia Charles has also found joy in self-expression through art at the club.
“I think coming to the Boys and Girls Club is a lot of fun,” she says. “I like that in the art program we don’t just have to paint pictures but we can express ourselves. I like to paint abstracts. I like changing simple things into more complicated things.”
This summer was only the second season Olivia has attended the club, but she says it’s the best thing she’s ever done because it has opened her eyes to art. “No one else in my family paints or does artwork so this is something different for me. I want to keep on doing it because I think it’s fun,” she says.
Olivia says she didn’t always se art as being a part of her life, however, now that it is she wouldn’t have it any other way and she hopes other kids give art a chance. “A lot of kid come in here and they think they are just going to mess around and not take art serious, but once they see what other kids are doing, they want to get involved,” she says.
ArtFest tickets are still available. Call The Boys and Girls Clubs of KernCounty at 325-3730.
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