Bridges’ Art Auction
Student artwork to be auctioned during the Bridges Academy open house on Wednesday, October 28 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Juan Manzano is described as focused and meticulous when he has a pencil or paint brush in hand.
These traits were apparent on a recent afternoon at Bridges Academy as he quietly worked on a sketch as part of the school’s afterschool enrichment program. The academy is one of KCSOS’s campuses that provides educational and vocational services to youth on probation.
“It’s relaxing,” Manzano said. “I don’t think about anything else while I’m drawing.”
The 17-year-old became interested in art when he saw his peers drawing during a stint at Camp Erwin Owens, a non-secure juvenile detention facility in the mountains of Kernville.
“It looked decent, so I gave it a try,” he said.
Sarah Samms, career associate at Bridges, said while the academy’s curriculum does include art instruction, there was a desire to provide students with extra resources that would allow them to express themselves creatively.
The Probation Auxiliary-County of Kern (PACK) — a non-profit that provides support and services to programs within the Kern County Probation Department — helped make that happen by contributing $1,000 to the program. The donation allowed the academy to buy art supplies and start an after school art enrichment course.
Samms and her colleagues Alex Zamora and Ashley Hurlbert, each artists themselves, teamed up to teach the class, which included painting, drawing and some collage work.
That piece and 27 others that were created by nine students (plus 11 donated by the teachers) will be sold at a silent auction during Bridges Academy and Kern Youth @ Work’s inaugural open house on Wed., Oct. 28. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
All proceeds will be invested back into the program, with the second course planned to begin in early 2016.
“It was a great opportunity to show the students various forms of art,” Samms said. “Exposing them to successful artists was the key to encouraging them that using their creative abilities to develop a career can be easily obtained.”
ABOVE: This 16 x 20 inch paint on canvas piece titled “Warrior” is one of the student art projects
that will be auctioned off to help raise funds for the Bridges Academy art program.