By Councilmember Marsha McLean
Our City Council is committed to developing a vibrant cultural heritage and arts community and has taken steps to bring this commitment to fruition. Since the formation of the Arts Master Plan in 2016, the City of Santa Clarita has taken great strides in developing a cultural and arts scene in our community. Every month, art exhibits with distinct and thought-provoking themes are featured in eight local art galleries. Annual arts events, such as the Cowboy Festival and Concerts in the Park, continue to be upheld and enriched. Efforts to elevate the Old Town Newhall Arts and Entertainment District are being met with success. Our dream to be recognized as a “city of the arts” is becoming a reality.
In celebration of artistic expression in Santa Clarita, October (National Arts and Humanities Month) is being dubbed ARTober for the second consecutive year. Community members are invited to enjoy free activities and events throughout the month. One unique art experience, involving the “Friends” sculpture at Canyon Country Park, will feature the work of multiple volunteers from Forge Ahead Arts. As part of a Sculpture Yarn Bomb, the girl and her dog public art piece will don multiple crocheted articles crafted by the volunteers.
Perhaps an equally unique art experience will be “Framing Santa Clarita.” Ten picture frames will be installed along the Santa Clara River, lending viewers a new perspective on the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting the river’s environment. Residents are encouraged to take a selfie and share their experience by posting the photo on social media with the hashtag #SantaClaritaArts.
Residents can take advantage of the South Fork Trail during ARTober to enjoy the view. For the South Fork Trail location, please visit santa-clarita.com/Trails.
On Wednesday, October 4, from 6-8 p.m., the “Pick a Card, Any Card,” art reception will be open to the public at the Town Center Art Space in the Westfield Valencia Town Center. This special reception is held in celebration of artist Christina Orem’s newest art exhibit, which was inspired by the traditional Hoyle deck of playing cards. Enjoy light appetizers, a chance to meet the artist and card tricks by magician Glenndalf.
On Friday, October 13 at 6 p.m., the community is invited to a free art reception celebrating a new Fiber Arts exhibit being installed in the lobby of the Newhall Community Center. Residents can immerse themselves in this large and colorful display of fiber artistry, created by artist Ashley V. Blalock.
Finally, two stirring events will take place at the Veterans Historical Plaza on Saturday, October 21. You are invited to enjoy the open air and participate from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a drop-in drum circle. Local drummers and rhythm aficionados are encouraged to bring a drum and join the Rhythm Experience. Following, at 2 p.m., a traditional Revolutionary War-period concert will be provided by the Los Angeles Fifes and Drums company.
In speaking with our arts community as well as with so many residents, I have learned that we must continue to broaden the arts in our community and realize our goal of becoming the “city of the arts. We are working to make sure future generations are free to learn about the past through art and enjoy the wonder of what the world can be as their future unfolds. Henri Matisse, once said, “Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence,” leaving us, I believe, to attempt to understand an artist’s message, but free to make the interpretation our own.
The value of art in society is undeniable, and that is why we strive to embrace it in the City of Santa Clarita. Join us for ARTober and help promote the arts and cultural heritage in our community. For details regarding these events, gallery locations and more, please visit SantaClaritaArts.com/ARTober. Share your experiences on social media using the hashtag #SantaClaritaArts.
Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.