SBU student-athletes complete a class painting during Summer Soccer Scholars program.
SBU student-athletes complete a class painting during Summer Soccer Scholars program.

Student-athletes in the SBU Academy now have the opportunity to learn artistic concepts, experiment with various visual art forms, and gain exposure to instruction that is lacking in many public schools.  This arts enrichment programming is offered through the new SBU Karen Barth Arts Program.

This summer 34 students took art class for one hour each day as part of the SBU Summer Soccer Scholars program.  Instruction was provided through program partner Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program (LeAP), an organization committed to improving the quality of public education through a unique, hands-on, arts-based approach to teaching the core curriculum.  In addition to learning basic concepts of visual arts, colors, painting, and drawing, students used painting to explore the summer theme of migration including their own family’s personal stories.

Students shared some of their experiences from the summer.  Says Abou Sissoko, 13, “I learned many things in Ms. Wendy’s class.  One thing that I like is perspective drawing.  At first, I thought it was going to be hard but when she showed me an example and explain it well I understood.  I made at least three drawings that day!”

Osvaldo Martinez, 12: “In art, I learned how to dye a shirt and we had fun doing various activities.  We learned to paint using mixed colors.”

Vanessa Jerez, 12: “Over the summer I took various subjects, but specifically I really liked art.  I did many art projects with my class.  Some of those projects were the sun print–where you put objects on a special blue paper, put it outside for 5 minutes, and put it in water over night–and the immigration project, where you told and drew a story of a family member who immigrated to the U.S.  I have been drawing since I was 7 years old and I have never seen an art class with so much creativity.  That’s what I liked the most out of the class: the creativity and respect in the room.  I hope I’ll be able to be in it again.”

Watch and listen to Drissa Gama, 13, share his family migration art project.

This fall, the program has continued as a weekly afterschool arts offering for middle and high school students.  During the school year, South Bronx United will partner with DreamYard Project and the Guggenheim Museum.

The program made possible thanks to a generous grant made to honor the legacy of the late Karen Barth.  Ms. Barth shared: “My objective is to make a painting that reinvigorates the language of abstraction and forges a renewed bond to nature. What I seek is a connection to the larger world via a painting that suggests a confluence between nature, paint and technology as process and the sense of immediacy and aliveness that this fused experience provides for me.”

A gallery featuring Karen Barth’s work is on display until October 22, 2016 at the Rogue Space: 508 West 26th Street, 9E-9F , Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm.