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Expressions 2013 celebrates and exhibits artwork created by students participating in ArtReach, a program that fosters visual literacy, critical thinking skills, and creative expression while encouraging young people to develop meaningful connections between art and their lives.

The exhibition displayed in the Corcoran Gallery of Art opens with a free reception this Wednesday, May 22, 5-7 p.m.

Leah Sims, a third-year Corcoran College of Art + Design student studying Digital Media Design, sat down with ArtReach mom Adirah and her three boys to talk about the program. Yeshayah, Kamiel, and Adoniyah all participated in the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters.

Corcoran ArtReach

The Ben-Tsalmiel family: Kadmiel (age 11), Adirah (mother) Adoniyah (age 9) and Yeshayah (age 13)

What is your favorite thing about ArtReach? What keeps you coming back?

Kadmiel: We get to do cool projects. We don’t usually get to do these sort of things.

Yeshayah: We get to practice our favorite things.

Adirah: It gives the boys a sense of balance. The creativity is very good and it combines different aspects of art.

Adoniyah: Because it gives me a head start in art cause I want to be an artist.

What was your favorite project?

Kadmiel: Glitter portraits.

Adoniyah: Glitter portraits. It gives you a chance to draw others and practice.

Yeshayah: Glitter portraits! You get to draw other people.

Adoniyah: The family history project (inspired by the Taryn Simon exhibition) where they had to find out different things about their family.

What did you like best about doing a glitter portrait last year? This year?

Kadmiel: The excitement of who got your picture.

Adoniyah: I like the process. You trace, then draw with a sharpie, paint, then you paint an epic background.

Adirah: It gave me an opportunity to catch up on my art skills. Also, the community aspect of it. You don’t know the person and you wonder about them.

Yeshayah: Painting the faces.

Corcoran ArtReach

What are you looking forward to at the opening?

Kadmiel: A lot of “oohs and ahhs.”

Adirah: My children get to exhibit in an actual art museum.

Yeshayah: I’m expecting a lot of oohs and ahhs because my artwork will be hanging in Washington, D.C.

How many times have you been to the Corcoran?

Boys: Twice, for two field trips—Taryn Simon and NEXT.

Adirah: This will be my first time.

What would you tell someone about ArtReach?

Kadmiel: It’s the best!

Adirah: It’s a great way for children to be exposed to culture. My children get exposed to different people and cultures. To parents interested in ArtReach—there is a lot of intentional thought in this program and it makes the program valuable.

Yeshayah: I would tell them that it’s a great place to go.

Adoniyah: It’s more hands on, and I love that! There’s more to do and you get your hands dirty!

Corcoran ArtReach Expressions 2013 Exhibition

“Expressions: The Annual ArtReach Exhibition” is on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art May 22–June 16. The opening reception is Wednesday, May 22, 5-7 p.m.