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Center features masterpieces from Whitmore Charter kids
City makes effort to highlight art
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Brenden Martin, a student at Whitmore Charter School of Art and Technology in Ceres shows his art to his grandmother, Gina Claxton of Modesto. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Traci Farris, a manager with the city of Ceres' Department of Parks and Recreation, remembers when she was attending Moon Elementary School in Waterford and the featuring of her student artwork made a great positive impression on her. The memory was so positive that is what is driving the city's program of highlighting student artwork on the walls of the Ceres Community Center.

On Wednesday evening, a number of students from Whitmore Charter School of Art and Technology gathered on the second floor of the center with their parents and some grandparents to be acknowledged for contributing art during an artists' reception.

Farris and city Recreation Supervisor Cambria Pollinger have initiated a new program to incorporate art into city facilities which includes rotating, on a monthly basis, student art from Ceres schools. The city has also introduced art to the Ceres River Bluff Regional Park on several signs.

"We want them to feel special," said Faris. "They've being showcased."

The students whose artwork is currently being displayed are: kindergartner Addison DelReal, first-graders Brenden Martin and Sukhnoor Toor; second-graders Aiden Jensen and Grace Altadonna; third-graders Isaac Juarez, Beau Curry, Zachary Looney, Sophia Sanchez and Jacob Howe; and fourth-graders Ivan Chavez, Tatyanni Coconi, Zoe Lara, Ariela Roman and Mackenzie DelReal.

Next month the city will highlight artwork to be created by summer camp enrollees while the July 11 reception will feature art for Parks & Recreation Month. In August the art of children of city employees will be displayed.
Westport Elementary School students will contribute art.

In March the city unveiled a mural painted by Tyler Abshier on the northern wall of the second-floor lobby of the Community Center. The center mural features native oaks in the Valley's native landscape as it would appear 150 to 200 years ago before it was settled. The artist thinks it's peaceful to view in the loft space. It also features tule elk grazing off the grasses in the distance.