Growing up, Pablo Cevallos was told that if he wanted to be an artist, he had to be an architect or graphic designer to be successful.
Now, as a local artist and coordinator for the Canyon Country Community Center, Cevallos said he opposes that narrative, encouraging the youth to continue exploring in the realm of art.
“Art is a good career opportunity,” Cevallos said. “There’s artists who work full time and they’re out there painting murals. They’re doing window art for seasonal stuff for businesses. They even do sign lettering, hand-painted signs and other things. So it’s good to nurture art and creativity in the children and this event helps do that.”
The city of Santa Clarita hosted its sixth annual Youth Arts Showcase at The Centre on Saturday, giving young artists in the community a chance to display their artwork and participate in creative art activities.
Julia Rodriguez, a program specialist with the city of Santa Clarita’s arts and events division, said this is the first time having the event since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Rodriguez said the kids have been through numerous pandemic-related challenges and by having this event again, it allows them to “showcase their talents and have fun again.”
“The kids have gone through so much because of the pandemic like being on lockdown, virtual schooling and then going back to school,” Rodriguez said. “We have such a great turnout today and you can tell from the kids and the parents that everyone is just super excited to be here and you can just feel the energy today.”
Rodriguez said some parents turned back the clock by participating in interactive art booths and creative crafts with their children.
“If you go into the creative room, there’s parents that have been there awhile just having fun with creating art with their kids,” Rodriguez said. “When you really think about it, you really don’t have opportunities for parents to be able to do things like this too often.”
Cevallos, who was in charge of the “yarn art” and the “grid and ribbon” activity for participants who wanted to try abstract art, said the event is a great opportunity for children in the community to get more exposure to art.
In order to avoid limiting their creativity, Cevallos said he did not instruct any of the kids on what to do and what not to do. Rather, he told them to organically create what comes to their mind.
“Usually when you think of art, you think of drawing and painting,” Cevallos said. “I want to open their eyes to show that art can be anything creative. It’s really cool to see them really attracted to it and they really liked participating in the ribbon art.”
Along with showing off art pieces from kids in the community, the event featured live performances on the outdoor stage from solo musicians, choirs, bands and dancers. Chalk artists drew on the sidewalks around the area and short film screenings.
Cevallos said events like this keep the young, artistic minds flowing with creativity and it’s important to keep encouraging that.
“Don’t let someone tell you that apples are supposed to be red,” said Cevallos regarding advice he gives young artists. “ You just have to keep your imagination and creativity flowing.”