A large-scale, outdoor Youth Art Exhibit will open on Oct. 17, at Livermore's Bankhead Plaza. In November 2020, Thomasin Dewhurst heard many lamentations from her art and piano students' families about not being able to visit family and friends during the holiday season, due to COVID restrictions. Thomasin, who immigrated to America in 2000, understood the heartache of being separated from loved ones.
She embarked on a project that, through art and collaboration, she hoped would bring people together, unify the community, beautify Livermore and neighboring cities, and give an opportunity for the voices of young artists and writers to be expressed. And so, ‘Conversation Pieces,’ an art exhibition by young artists of Livermore and the Tri-Valley came into being.
The exhibit takes its name from an 18th Century art term, meaning an informal group portrait. A conversation piece embraced and acknowledged the strength of community.
The project brought together young members of The Pedrozzi Foundation, Quest Science Center, JazzLabb/Element 116, Tri-Valley Writers, Del Arroyo 4-H Club, and Thomasin Dewhurst Fine Art, all of which are local community and charity-driven youth groups. The young artists and writers of each group created a series of beautiful, hand-painted banners in diversely individual and personal ways. The project encompasses the twin ideas of individuality and community; giving space for individual voices to speak out, and, at the same time, celebrating collaboration, co-operation and community.
‘Conversation Pieces’ will be opened in festival style at the Bankhead Plaza on Oct. 17, from 3 to 5 p.m., with entertainment, a visit from members of the city council, awards for the participating young artists and writers, an opening talk by astronaut Jose Hernandez, who is featured on the Quest banner, and information booths and activities from each of the participating groups. All members of the public are very welcome and encouraged to attend the opening!
The exhibit will be displayed at the Bankhead Plaza through October, then will then become a traveling exhibition shown in various locations in Livermore and beyond in 2021 and 2022. With each new location, Thomasin will offer art workshops and collaborative projects to other community groups.
This project is generously funded by grants from the City of Livermore, the Wente Foundation for Arts Education, the Pedrozzi Foundation and donations from members of the public.