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20120525_UVAL_JSL_ChildrensArtFair_JB10Leon Villarreal patiently helped his four-year-old son Diego with the paintbrush as he experienced water colors at the Upper Valley Art League’s Children’s Fine Arts Fair last Saturday, May 19.

“We wanted to come show the kids how much fun it is to be creative,” Leon said. “We wanted them to experience it and just spend some time with the family on Saturday morning.”

Nearly 100 children, ages 4-12, enjoyed a range of activities giving them an opportunity to have fun with art at the children’s fair sponsored by the Junior Service League of Mission.

“We did the story telling where we learned about the Native Americans, which is really cool, and we did the artwork. It seems like he’s getting the grasp of it, so we are really excited about that. He’s having fun,” said Villarreal.

Laura Connelly Flores, JSL board advisor, was president of the League when they launched the children’s event for the first time last year.

As she helped supervise this year’s event Flores said, “We had a vision of creating an event for children. We wanted it to be free and to be enriching for them in the arts, culturally. So we partnered up with the Upper Valley Art League and here we are with several different stations.”

The organizers wanted every child to experience a variety of art methods, so every 25 minutes the children would go to a different station, enjoying activities such as drawing parrots, water colors, origami – making butterflies, whales, dogs and turtles – storytelling, face painting, music and sidewalk chalk.

Professional artists from the Art League volunteered their time to teach the children, including Veronica Jaeger (watercolors), Laura Ballard (drawing), and Kristyn Walker (origami). Patti Burrow, from the Mission Historical Museum, helped with the story telling, while members of the Mission High School Band helped with the music classes and face painting.

“A lot of kids are interested in drawing,” said Flores. “They’re interested in learning how to draw so they’re really enjoying the instruction that they’re getting.”

After all the kids had a chance to go through all the different stations, they enjoyed snacks of popcorn and punch, and wrapped up the morning’s activities trying to do the hula hoop. And every participant got to take a hula hoop home, as well as their art projects they learned to create at the Children’s Fine Arts Fair.

Ruben Lopez, who brought his four-year-old daughter to the fair, said she had a good time and they would definitely come back again next year.

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