Larry and Brad Shar wanted to give back to the community they have spent their lives in, so they founded Lowy’s Frame The Future program, in which Lowy provides after school arts education classes to NYC school children who would otherwise have little or no exposure to the visual arts.
In partnership with Arts to Grow, a New York metro area nonprofit that provides arts instruction free of charge to area children, Lowy provided a 15-session arts education class at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center for 30 students. Arts to Grow serves less advantaged children who are growing up with a host of challenges. Lincoln Square is located within a NYC Housing Authority facility where most of the children served live in single family or multi-generational family units many on public assistance or working multiple minimum wage jobs at or below the poverty line.
Children in Lowy’s Frame The Future arts education class learning to paint
“Through exposure to the arts, less advantaged children gain access to learning valuable skills in critical thinking, social and emotional development as well as math and reading, in ways that are not otherwise available to them stated Mallory King, the Founder and Executive Director of Arts to Grow. “Since 2005, we’ve been able to help over 2000 less advantaged children discover their full potential through exposing them to the arts, and in partnership with Lowy we will reach even more.”
“I’ve spent my entire life in the New York arts community and feel it is very important to give back,” said Larry Shar, president of Lowy. “By sponsoring these classes, we help ensure the future of arts education, and foster future artists.”
Two groups of students participated in Lowy’s first sponsored class. Children ages 5-8 and 9-11 worked with Arts to Grow’s professional artist/teacher Michelle Hill, who led them through an exploration of artistic vocabulary and taught them basic drawing skills using high quality art materials.
Students started with learning how to draw landscapes by focusing on horizon lines, seasonal colors and vanishing points. Then they moved on to drawing and painting still life using a bowl of fruit as their subject. In these lessons they learned how to focus on perspective, color and shapes using quality craypas, Sharpies, watercolors and special watercolor paper and brushes.
At the end of the 15 sessions, there were several masterpieces on view, ranging from urban landscapes to vibrant watercolor renderings of still lives.
A proud budding artist and her still life
Each child walked away with new skills and for some a new way to communicate. One 10-year old student who chose never to speak in class become an active participant and found his way of communicating through his artistic output.
Teaching artist Michelle
Hill slowly began reaching out by using his work as an example of “what to do”. He started to respond and this interaction became a silent language for him. The positive reinforcement he received has unlocked a personal motivation to communicate through his artistic process. Arts to Grow and Lowy are honored to know that our art class has been a gateway for a silent child to communicate.
One of the artists talks to Brad Shar, third generation owner of Lowy, about his painting
In autumn 2013, Lowy and Arts to Grow will host an exhibition of the children’s paintings and a silent auction that will allow people to bid on and purchase these works. For more information on the specific date of this auction event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All funds raised at this auction will be donated to Arts to Grow to ensure continuation of Frame the Future classes at Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center and other program sites in low income neighborhoods throughout the five borough
of NYC. 50+ schools and community organization are waiting for Arts to Grow programs. To learn more about Arts to Grow, click here.