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Irvine Arts Festival to Test Imaginations

April 22, 1993|CORINNE FLOCKEN

Babies should come with To Do Lists. Think about the details parents track every day: Did she take her vitamins? Did he remember his homework? Where did she stash her soccer shoes?

There are so many basics to cover that there isn't much time to trace one of the most important parts of a child's development: his or her imagination.

However, on Saturday multimedia artist Miriam Tait will invite parents and children to tap into each other's creative skills at "Make Your Mark," an hour-long dance and visual art workshop. The session at the Irvine Marketplace shopping center starts at 11 a.m., will be open to all ages and will be one of several youth-oriented activities at Irvine Arts Festival III, an all-day event encompassing more than 25 events citywide.

Tait, who has been a educator and visiting artist in local schools for 20 years, sees the workshop as a way for parents to gain greater appreciation of their children's creative talents and, in the process, let loose enough themselves to take on some of their kids' spontaneity.

"My goal is that (parents) are not going to sit there and watch but become a part of it," Tait said. "I want to bring the creative process back to the family and let them realize that is something they can do in their own home."

The starting point for the workshop will be Janice DeLoof's exhibition of sculpture, painting and mixed media drawings, "A People, Shape & Color Place," in the Marketplace's Storefront Studio. After Tait loosens them up with improvisational movement and drawing exercises, participants will view DeLoof's works, then break up into small groups to share their reactions in words, visual art, sound or dance. The results will be meshed into homespun performance art pieces that the groups will present for each other at the end of the session.

Although "Make Your Mark" may never replace Trivial Pursuit or Nintendo for family fun, Tait said the process can encourage a creative dialogue between young and old that can enhance their understanding of the arts.

"They're not only learning how to interpret art, they are becoming creators themselves," she noted. The workshop "teaches that art isn't just something you see. It's what you think and feel and process inside."

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Marketplace will host a street painting demonstration, an exhibition and benefit silent auction of work by local artists, outdoor performances by UCI actors and an exhibit of watercolors by Tanya Moreau-Smith, an animator whose credits include "Roger Rabbit" and "The Little Mermaid." At the Storefront Studio, artist DeLoof will assist children in various hands-on projects.

In the city Civic Center lobby from 2 to 5 p.m., the Young Masters Art Exhibition will feature 400 works by Irvine grade school children, and there will be live entertainment. Joyce Kohl's untitled sculpture in Northwood Community Park will be dedicated at 3:30 p.m. in a ceremony that will feature a juggling mime and a children's art-making table.

Festival director Toni McDonald says Kohl's piece, a concrete work that resembles a giant piece of split chalk, has been popular with local children--so much so that when Kohl decided to paint it, she solicited the kids' opinions on the color. Their choice? A subdued terra-cotta.

"You have to remember these kids were raised in Irvine," McDonald joked.

At the Irvine Fine Arts Center, there will be docent-lead tours of "Kids With Artabilities," an exhibition that includes works by disabled children and adults (IFAC will host its own family arts event on Sunday). Other festival events will include a UCI dance performance and activities in Old Town Irvine.

Originally spread out over several months, the Irvine Arts Festival was consolidated into one day to direct more attention to the city's lesser known outlets for the arts, McDonald said.

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