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CalArts CAP Program Director Glenna Avila Speaks at ARTree


Posted: March 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Glenna Avila  Courtesy photo Glenna Avila  Courtesy photo
Glenna Avila  Courtesy photo

What does a mural on an L.A. freeway, students at SCV schools, and CalArts have in common?

All have been touched by talented artist, educator and arts administrator Glenna Avila. Avila will speak at the ARTree meeting on Wednesday, March 19, 6:30 p.m., at the Old Town Newhall Library.

Since 1991, Avila has been the Artistic Director and the Wallis Annenberg Director of the California Institute of the Arts Partnership (CAP) program.

CAP is made up of 55 different arts education programs engaged in 60 neighborhoods throughout Southern California.

The program partners with 45 public schools and community-based organizations, including Newhall Elementary School, Arroyo Seco Junior High, and Hart High.

For the program to have such an extensive outreach, Avila (who is the first and only director of the program) employs 60 CalArts faculty artists, 50 alumni artists, and 300 student-instructors.

Avila is also as accomplished making art as she is teaching it.

In 1984, Avila was one of 10 artists commissioned by the Olympic Organizing Committee to paint a mural along the 101 Freeway in downtown for the Olympic Arts Festival.

Her lively and colorful mural entitled “L.A. Freeway Kids” is a tribute to the city’s children, showing them jumping, skipping and playing ball.

Avila was also director of the Los Angeles Citywide Murals Program, where she coordinated over 250 community murals in the city. Her work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums including the LA County Museum of Art, and the Armand Hammer Museum and the Wight Gallery at UCLA.

As director of CAPS, Avila links talented artists with the diverse communities of Los Angeles through free, after-school and school-based arts programs for youth. These programs provide a challenging learning environment for the students’ creative and artistic experimentation.

“Art programs encourage students to think about higher education,” Avila said in a recent interview. Over the years, she has seen kids continue their education, and currently has 50 young people receiving scholarships to continue their education.

Avila will talk about these influential programs and how they propel the minds of young people, especially those from financially and socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

She will also share her experiences as an influential artist and muralist in Los Angeles at a time when the city was beginning to embrace its cultural diversity. There is no charge for admission. For more information, contact Bob Hernandez at 818-634-4180.


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