'Crazy Cactus' youth art on display at county museum
BARSTOW • It takes a pair as creative and passionate as Desert Discovery Center co-directors to take scrap wood, paint and a crew of young artists and produce an on-the-road art exhibit that’s landed at San Bernardino County Museum.
The “Crazy Cactus” Exhibit will be a special display at the county museum in Redlands through Sept. 30. The 14 brightly decorated cacti were a recycling art project created by the Barstow-based Main Street Murals Environmental Arts Youth Program — a partner with the Desert Discovery Center.
The project was devised by David Brockhurst, DDC co-director, as an idea to raise money for the youth program by auctioning off the statues.
The children were given a slab of wood, paints and free reign to go “crazy” with any colors or designs they chose.
“It was our art work and we got to paint it and nobody else could tell us what we had to do,” said 11-year-old Leialli Kamel, who has been involved in the youth program for two years. “It was our ideas.”
Kamel and her family attended the opening night of their exhibition last week.
“It was really great to see my work and all of our work at the museum...” Kamel said. “We’ve been working hard and it shows because our art work is at a big museum.”
Co-director Jane Laraman-Brockhurst said the project benefits student learning, but also benefits the city of Barstow and the Mojave Desert. She said she’s proud the exhibit will promote the community by being displayed in a prestigious venue.
Robert McKernan, director of the San Bernardino County Museum, said he chose this exhibit to coincide with the museum’s youth summer camp.
“The art was produced by children and as we are a kids friendly museum we believe this exhibit integrates the educational component and the natural world,” McKernan said.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under 5 and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information visit www.sbcountymuseum.org.
Laraman-Brockhurst plans to take the “Crazy Cactus” exhibit on tour for a year before selling the pieces to raise funds for the youth program. Several of the statues have already been purchased by businesses. Those interested in purchasing a cactus statue can call (760) 220-4351.
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