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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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The A is for Art program also strives to use art as way to enhance self-expression and to build self-esteem. The A is for Art program also strives to use art as way to enhance self-expression and to build self-esteem.

Renaissance of Art, Self-Expression

The SDSU Children’s Center showcases artwork by its students as part of its annual fundraiser.
By Staci Reidinger

This semester, SDSU NewsCenter will focus on the arts with stories of the creative endeavors of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.   

Delicate strokes of crimson red, electric blue and sunset orange form a kaleidoscope of color upon a sky blue canvas on a cool spring day in San Diego. 

Created by a few of San Diego’s youngest budding artists, they dip their paint brushes into oil paints and watercolors on a journey of self-expression, discovery and development.

In today’s technology-driven playground, San Diego State University’s Children’s Center is having a renaissance of art in the classroom with a little help from the community, they are placing the importance music, dance and painting over iPads, video games and Dora the Explorer. 

Judy Moffson, a Chicago native and Solana Beach resident who started drawing and painting at the age of three, set up her 9-foot tall art easel on a patch of grass at the SDSU Children’s Center on March 21. She shared her love of oil painting with several playful young boys and girls as a part of the A is for Art program.

“I am happy to have had this experience. I see the value in exposing children to being creative with different forms of art at a very young age,” Moffson said.

“I feel that this is so important for the development of their creativity and motor skills and to have fun while learning. It’s been great to help the little ones think about colors, subjects and sharing a collaborative project to learn social skills by working side by side.”

About the program

The SDSU Children’s Center’s A is for Art program brings together local artists and children ages 6 months to 5 years to produce works of abstract art reflecting well-known artists like Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock. 

The impact of art enrichment on young minds at the center has proven beneficial to student success as they progress from infants to toddlers and beyond.

“The control and coordination to print comes through exposure and practice,” said Robin Judd, director of the center.

"Many young children that have a hard time sitting down at a writing table are able to start with big paintbrushes on paper to practice motor skills and over time this leads them to wanting to use smaller tools like markers and pencils," Judd added.

Self esteem through art

A is for Art also strives to use art as way to enhance self-expression and to build self-esteem.

“We see children who are shy, quiet and hesitant step up to the easel and paint amazing things and then begin to tell a story about what they are creating,” Judd said.

“They become the person who can draw a butterfly, they become the go-to person when butterflies, birds, planes are needed, and they are the stars in demand," Judd continued. "Once they see themselves in this leadership role, it extends further in their day to day activities as they take more risks and ask questions. This leads them beyond their comfort zone and they grow.”

About the SDSU Children's Center

Founded by SDSU Associated Students in 1971, the center provides care for up 200 children of SDSU students, faculty, staff and alumni.

As a 501(3)c non-profit organization, the SDSU Children’s Center strives to provide a diverse learning environment that prepares children for academic and personal success in life.

The center hosts an annual A is for Art exhibition and auction to raise awareness about the importance of art enrichment and to raise funds to expand student-parent scholarships and art enrichment activities.

Celebrating a decade

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of A is for Art, the SDSU Children’s Center will host two events that offer the public an opportunity to view the work of young, budding artists and donate funds in exchange for a piece of original art.

The first event is a child-friendly A is for Art Sneak Peak that will offer attendees a view of the completed artwork as well as a chance to meet these young Picasso’s beginning at 5:30 p.m. on April 11, at the KPBS Studios.

The second event is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 19 at the Mingei International Museum. This adult-only event will feature a keynote address by the dean of the SDSU's College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, Joyce Gattas; as well as live entertainment, light food and wine and a live auction of the SDSU Children’s Center artwork. Both events are free and open to the public.

This year’s fundraising goal is to expand the SDSU Children’s Center’s Nature in Our Backyard Project, which allows children to experience and discover the beauty of nature by developing a personal relationship with the natural world.

More information

For more information, please visit the SDSU Children’s Center A is for Art Facebook page, contact the center via e-mail or call 619-594-7298,

A is for Art
Photos courtesy of the Arrow Media Group