Santa Paula Times

SP Family Resource Center student Open House Art Show Friday

August 08, 2012
Santa Paula News

Kids need an artistic outlet and a special exhibit coming up at the Santa Paula Resource Center is allowing children to show off the work that feeds their souls and self-esteem.

The special exhibit will be featured in an Open House on Friday, August 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the center, located at 123 N. 10th St.

Graphic artist/artist Silvia Huerta-Wetherbee of Santa Paula has been volunteering with the center to help kids create art for about six years. “We have kids that come and go” to the center and the art classes, she noted. “Sometimes have two show up, sometimes 15 show up” for the class that Huerta-Wetherbee runs with SPFRC Counselor Jackie Paredes.

Interface Children Family Services operates the center geared to families that need outside help. Many of the children served by the center are considered at-risk but the benefits derived from the arts - all manner of arts - has proven to be effective ways to help children to not only deal with problems but also sharpens their ability to focus while exploring their artistic potential.

Huerta-Wetherbee’s students are between 10 and 18 years old: “We have some high school seniors in there... we have quite a range, it’s quite a challenge to figure out a project for them.” Now there are many projects the students will show off to the public, parents and friends.

Huerta-Wetherbee said Friday’s Open House will feature projects created over the past two months when they were told about the exhibit. “Some of them are really vested in this and excited,” about art, “and we thought why not give them the opportunity to show off the their work.” In addition, Huerta-Wetherbee said the exhibit is “also a good way to showcase to the public what the Family Resource Center is doing,” not only for those interested in community but also to potential donors.

“I buy or try to recycle the art supplies,” and sometimes grant money helps pay expenses, but Huerta-Wetherbee would like to promote donations to the art program. “If anyone has any anything to donate, extra paint,” brushes or other supplies, if they hear of the program they might know where it would create the most benefit. “You never know,” Huerta-Wetherbee noted, “we’re always in need of supplies for art projects.”

The one-day exhibit will highlight what each center artist created to showcase on their special shelf on the Youth Room wall.

Huerta-Wetherbee is enthusiastic not only about her budding artists but also the center. “It’s a great organization and the more I hear about schools not having any arts,” the more Huerta-Wetherbee advocates for student art instruction and programs. The decline of the arts in schools, “kills me... it’s just so important that the arts be a part of their lives.”

Huerta-Wetherbee started volunteering with the SPFRC working with an art therapist and when the latter left she stepped up. “I knew I couldn’t do what the art therapist did but when I saw what it meant to the students, how much they enjoy it, I just couldn’t let it end.”

Family Strengthening is a centerpiece of Interface’s mission to support families and their children by developing Family Resource Centers in key neighborhoods across the county. Their aim is to offer families an easy, “one stop shop” experience to meet their diverse needs for support. 

The Santa Paula Family Resource Center provides unique services to the children, youth, and families in the community where clients have access to resources, information and referrals, counseling, case management services, parenting classes, and substance abuse counseling and support. Services include:  Youth Crisis, Domestic Violence & Advocacy, and the Youth Advisory Council. 

Strong families create strong children and healthy communities! For more information call the Santa Paula Family Resource Center at 525-6616.