Taking Art for a Walk in Tustin
Beckman art, graphic design and photography students participated in this year’s Tustin Art Walk and Crafts Crawl to display and sell their creations.
October 30, 2019
The sidewalk of Old Town Tustin is packed with paintings, designs, portraits, ceramics, sculptures and jewelry laid out on foldable tables. Visitors from Tustin, Irvine, Santa Ana and all over Orange County browse through the displays while appreciating the architecture and antique nature of Old Town Tustin.
The environment brings the community together. Live music performed by local music groups fills the air with tunes; the smell of refreshments and food beckons to eager customers, and the chatter between artists and customers forms a bond of unity.
This year, the visual arts department of Beckman High School participated in the 12th Annual Tustin Art Walk and Crafts Crawl in the heart of Old Town Tustin on the second Saturday of October. The space outside the Rasta-Cowboy Records store was kindly given to Beckman art students to sell and display their artworks.
It was Beckman’s first year attending the Tustin Art Walk, and it has made a huge mark on both the teachers and students of the visual arts department.
Rasta-Cowboy Records first approached Beckman with the desire to support the arts in high school. The art, graphic design and photography teachers then had a meeting with the store on Friday, Oct. 4. From there, teachers and students only had two weeks to prepare for the event.
While the department was honored to have been given this opportunity, preparation for the Tustin Art Walk was frantic. Students from levels two to Advanced Placement (AP) classes quickly created artwork that could be sold and displayed.
“I chose to design and [silk] screenprint t-shirts as my own personal project, and I also painted faces throughout the event,” said senior Natalie Seago, an AP Studio Art and Graphic Design 1 student. “Setting up my display and putting my name out into the world through my t-shirts was incredibly rewarding and was definitely my favorite part. I am very fortunate to have such supportive art teachers who tolerate me getting paint everywhere whilst I attempt to follow my dreams.”
The event was successful in involving the community. Customers, interested in looking at students’ art stands, blocked the streets. The number of artists who expressed their praise and admiration for the students’ artwork stands as evidence that the Tustin Art Walk really brought together a unified art community.
“It was a community, just a great art community,” said Mrs. Tipping, the photography teacher. “Because you had music, you had food, you had people selling work, displaying work and crafts. Everybody from all over could come to the art walk to see what we’re doing as a school and as a part of the community.”
The walk gave students the opportunity to display their art to a creative community that appreciates art as much as they do. Students were able to learn from face-to-face feedback and responses from customers admiring their work. The Beckman visual arts teachers hope that this experience left their students inspired and motivated to continue creating and further pursue their ambitions.
“The student participation was really great,” said Mrs. Manning, the graphic design teacher. “There was a lot of community involvement. It was run more by students and was student-led. So that was, in itself, a great networking opportunity. And that’s how we also proposed it to our [students] too. It’s a great way to promote your artwork, get it out there, network and be community-involved.”
By getting their students out in the art community, the teachers are connecting their students with various artists and diverse art styles in the community. In fact, Rasta-Cowboy Records donated about 70 used vinyl records to the graphic design class for students to use as materials for various projects. Additionally, an artist approached Mrs. Tipping with an offer to come speak to her art students.
“We always try to give our students as many real-world experiences as possible,” said Ms. Squieri, the studio art teacher. “There’s a whole saying, ‘so you have an art degree, what are you going to do with it now?’ And so this is a great way for them to learn how they can use their artwork in the real world.”
Not only did the Tustin Art Walk provide connections with the community, but it also provided experience for the students. Learning to create products to sell, promote their art, engage with customers and network within the community were a few of the important skills students expanded on during the event.
“My favorite part was watching our products being sold to make others happy,” said senior Taiga Kobayashi, an AP Graphic Design student. “[The walk] is a wonderful way of displaying your love of art to other people who feel the same. I definitely recommend [this event] to others who [look] to interact with customers that are interested with their art style.”
With the Tustin Art Walk an apparent success, the visual arts department has now moved on to their next project: their annual Holiday Arts Festival. Students will continue to gain exposure and experience for their artworks within the Beckman community through the festival. Using what they have learned from the walk, students are more confident in their abilities and work toward bigger goals.