Central California Art Association at Mistlin Gallery

Supporting local artists and art education for over 60 years.

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What is our CLASS Teaching Artist program all about?

Linda Knoll, far right, with other Stanislaus County “Outstanding Women.”

Our education coordinator, Linda Knoll was recently awarded “Outstanding Woman of Stanislaus County” by the Stanislaus Commission on Women. The following is her acceptance speech, given Saturday, March 11. It describes what the CLASS program does, as well as who is to thank for making it all work. For more information about how you can bring CLASS to your school, email Linda at class.ccaa@gmail.com

I’m a teaching artist. I have a professional art practice. And I teach what I am passionate about: making art and having a voice through my work. Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize how much I can do in just one hour,  coming into classrooms from the outside as an “expert.”

When I visit a classroom, I look for that kid whose desk is set apart. The one who blurts out, who gets told, “you won’t have art if you can’t behave.” They’re the ones I have to tell, “just keep trying”, or, “you can do it!” at least 10 times. And most times, they make the most amazing art. These are students who’ve said, after making a successful art project, “I’ve never been good at anything before.”

There are the kids who shout excitedly “I made brown!” after stirring their plate of primary color paints into an ooze of grayish muck. Or the kid in the hallway who runs up with a hug and says “Your’e the best art teacher” and I know I’m their only art teacher. Or the one who asks “are you a famous artist?” and I have to admit, no, not yet.

Thank you to all the people who make it possible to do what we do….

Thank you to Julie Hawkins, who over the last 3 years has been SO generous with her time and enthusiasm for my ever expanding plans. She’s been an ear for new ideas, a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on.

Thank you to my family. My dad has cut thousands of pieces of wire for classroom sculpture projects, and given up half the garage to store my art supplies. My sister, a kindergarten teacher, keeps me grounded. My daughter keeps me excited by looking at my photos of kids’ projects and hearing about my challenges with children and messy supplies. My mom, who passed away about 18 months ago, knew this was what I needed to do.

Thank you to my team of teaching artists who put up with crazy schedules and sometimes crazier ideas, and love being with kids and sharing their art and their excitement for creativity. Through their patience and positivity, I see how we are affecting students. They send me pictures of students’ work, and tell stories about the kids in their classrooms. Like the student who just arrived from Syria with no English, but she can draw with the best of them. Or the autistic student who just wants to do the work all by himself, and when he’s allowed, does it wonderfully.

Thank you to the Central California Art Association for their moral and financial support. CCAA is a group of artists, supporters and friends who volunteer to run one of the finest art galleries in Modesto, the Mistlin Gallery. Members contribute time and talent to put on 10 shows per year and provide classes for all ages.

After the Stanislaus Arts Council’s “STARS” program stopped providing visual art classes, the folks at CCAA stepped in to create our CLASS program — Community Liaison for Art in Stanislaus Schools –- and asked if I’d like to take charge. So began the work of reaching out to schools to let them know about us. Four years ago, it was just myself and one other teacher, and now I coordinate 18 teaching artists. In just the past year, we have visited more than 30 schools in 7 school districts, touching the lives of more than 12,000 students.

Thank you to the teachers who have made room for me and my team in their classrooms. Teachers work SOOO hard. And they deal with “that kid” for so many more hours than I do.

Thanks to the administrators who support the idea of art education with their time and school budgets. One principal, in particular, has secured thousands of dollars in outside contributions so that every child in her school has had this opportunity for the last 3 years. And an entire district administration that has committed to bring our art classes to every Kindergarten through 6th grade student with district funds. These people believe art really does make a difference to children.

Thank you to the parents whose children we serve. Who sometimes have to wash the paint or clay out of their clothes. I overheard a frustrated parent in the hall one day, saying “the only time my kid wants to come is school is on art day.” My heart swelled. Even though I really believe kids should be excited to come to school EVERY day.

Visual art is a window to the world. It gives voice to the students who are often unheard. Put a paintbrush in the hand of a child who doesn’t have even a pencil or crayons at home, and you’ll quickly see why art is called the universal language.

SO, in the long term, I’d like our program to keep expanding. We’d like to share hands-on experiences with more students… especially those who don’t typically have access to arts. Children need to participate, not just watch. To make this happen, we depend on the generosity of the community, schools and families who help CCAA keep its doors open. We all need to speak up and say, YES, the arts are important.

Giving Thanks

by Linda Knoll, Education Coordinator, CCAA

While there are many challenges in the world, I’m still grateful for the people, places and things I have. I’ve been an active member here at CCAA for about 5 years now. I’ve become friends with this group of hard working volunteers, the folks that run the gallery day in and day out, who are very dedicated and caring people.

New members and old  are welcome to exhibit their work, take part in our activities and be part of our art community. I’m grateful for all of our members’ participation and contributions. I’m also thankful for all of our patrons, students and friends who continue to support us. Our gallery is a place that the community can be proud of.  CCAA’s exhibitions, whether members, students or community groups, remain free and open to the public. Our education center offers high quality classes for children and adults.

classlogo2Our teaching artist program, CLASS, is reaching thousands of children throughout the county. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with schools and meet all the dedicated administrators, teachers, and families who support the idea that art is an important part of a child’s education. I’m also thankful to lead this dedicated group of teaching artists who bring creativity and enrichment to my life as well as their students.

If you’re thinking of making a year-end contribution to a local non-profit organization, please consider giving to Central California Art Assocation. Your tax deductible contributions directly support our gallery operations and education programs. You can donate through PayPal by clicking the Donate button below, or mail your contribution to CCAA, 1015 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354.

Thank you.



“Making Time” exhibition runs Oct. 25th – Nov. 18th

An Inspirational Art Exhibit of Memorial Medical Center’s Complementary Therapy Art Program

"Time Spins On," Mixed Media Complementary Therapy Art Group project.

“Time Spins On,” Mixed Media Complementary Therapy Art Group project.

Each piece in this show was created by the participants in Memorial Medical Center’s Complementary Therapy Art Program. These survivors and caregivers have produced art in an atmosphere that fosters community and acceptance. In this setting they are free to create images, experiment with media and develop skill. This exhibit reveals their zeal for life, their passion for expression and their emerging talent. Here they are free to become artists.

The remarkable results of this art program cannot really be measured, for they encompass not only the art we see; they include deep human connections shared by those whose cancer journeys intersect in the studio. They include the dignity of personal achievement and the welcome discovery of hidden ability.

This show demonstrates the pleasure of finding meaning in suffering and creating beauty in the struggle. These works are proof that through creativity, the destructive and ominous presence of cancer has been transformed through image, color and texture.

"A Day in the Woods" Acrylic by Lori Shutler

“A Day in the Woods” Acrylic by Lori Shutler

"Making Time," Acrylic, Complementary Therapy Art Group project

“Making Time,” Acrylic, Complementary Therapy Art Group project

"The Protector" Mixed Media Mask by Margo Souza.

“The Protector” Mixed Media Mask by Margo Souza.

Autumn Art Festival to include Gala Fundraiser

Gala Fundraiser scheduled for Friday, September 9

Our first Autumn Art Festival Gala Fundraiser will take place Friday, September 9, from 6 – 9 p.m. featuring a silent auction, fine food and local wine, along with the artist awards ceremony. The gala will be our primary fundraiser for the year, supporting all the programs of CCAA including its art exhibitions, operations and education programs. Tickets are $30, available online at http://ccaaautumngala.eventbrite.com

Juried Member’s-Only Show will run September 6 – October 21

The Autumn Art Festival exhibition is a CCAA members-only, juried art show that will run from September 6 – October 21. The artist entry deadline is August 20. Member artists may enter up to 5 works for $15 each. Accepted artists will receive one free ticket to the gala celebration. Categories will include: oil and acrylic, graphics and mixed media, pastel and watercolor, and 3 dimensional work. Over $1500 in prizes will be awarded. Click to download the prospectus..

Not a member? Join now for only $50 for the year. Membership makes you eligible to enter this show, as well as other member shows, and gives you a discount when you enter open shows at Mistlin Gallery.

Jurors for the Autumn Art Festival include Oakdale sculptor, Betty Saletta, artist and art teacher Galen Martin, and watercolor artist, Shirley Green.

Chief Estanislao, bronze, by Betty Saletta

Chief Estanislao, bronze, by Betty Saletta

One of the valley’s most recognizable talents, Betty Saletta has been creating sculpture in her Oakdale studio for more than 25 years. Her passion for the people and places of the Central Valley is clear in both her choice of subjects and the sensitivity in her depictions of them.

Galen Martin’s inspiration and love of the arts happened at age 7 during a ceramics class at her family’s art supply business, Artel Art Center. The time she spent at Artel continued to guide her artistic path as she created in ceramics and 3 dimensional mediums until college. She attended UC Santa Cruz where she studied photography, art history and psychology.

Iguana, watercolor by Shirley Green

Iguana, watercolor by Shirley Green

Shirley Green is a multimedia artist from the Bay area who now works and teaches predominantly in watercolor, but still shows her glass jewelry work through  the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California, of which she is an exhibiting member.  She is also a signature member of the Society of Western Artists and Sequoia Art group, and a member of the California Watercolor Society and the Santa Clara watercolor Society.

For additional information, contact us at the gallery by phone, 209-529-3369, email ccaagallery@gmail.com or visit the gallery at 1015 J Street, downtown Modesto.

Welcome to Our New Website

In order to improve our communications, we’ve decided to redesign our website. Our goal is to make the menus and information more user friendly by being concise and easy to navigate. You’ll find information about the Mistlin Gallery’s exhibitions, education programs, as well as membership and other timely information. Ultimately, we’ll be adding links to member artists’ websites, and forms that you’ll need to participate fully in the gallery’s activities. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact us.