Get Artsy with Us

By Faith Lewis

For many people, art is an outlet that presents itself early in life.

When school art classes just aren’t enough to allow teen’s creativity to flourish, Jagged Lines of Imagination (JLI) offers a solution.

Founded in 2006 by local artist, teacher, and father—Jon Guerzon—the goal of JLI was to ensure all children and teens had access to art classes. Nine years later, JLI joined Stockton’s Family Resource & Referral Center (FRRC)—a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the wellbeing of children and families. Operating out of FRRC’s Teen Impact Center’s art studio, and funded in part by the Stockton Arts Commission, California Arts Council, and Stockton Arts Foundation, Jagged Lines of Imagination is able to offer free art classes to students of all ages.

“JLI’s Lead Artists are all professional artists who not only teach art, but can also help young artists understand the ins and outs and ups and downs of some of the many ways that artists can make a living,” says Kristen Rinaker, a JLI volunteer who assists with the studio’s administration and grant proposals.

Students can participate in regularly scheduled classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons or they can drop in for open studio sessions Tuesdays from 5 to 6:30 PM. Classes focus on themes that appeal to teen artists by using popular animated characters or television series as subjects. These classes typically run for 12 weeks.

While most classes focus on the techniques that go into drawing figures and overall composition, some classes move beyond this to include lessons in other mediums like sculpture, digital drawing or even acrylic or watercolor painting.

“Every lesson begins with basics that are appropriate for younger or less skilled artists,” Kristen says. “With a little experience, students will find they can move ahead more rapidly, following later parts of a lesson while beginners remain focused on basics.”

And it turns out that having students of all ages and skill levels working and learning side by side has some unexpected benefits.

“Everyone learns from others,” says Kristen. “While one artist is enamored by the work of someone on the right, the person to their left may be salivating over that first artist’s creation. The mutual support among all artists in the studio sparks creativity and increases everyone’s appreciation of differences.” 

To participate in a JLI class, fill out the Teen Impact Center enrollment and contact form (parent permission is needed for students under 18) when you arrive on the first day and be ready to put pen to paper.

For More Information:
Jagged Lines of Imagination
725 N. El Dorado St., Stockton
jliacademy.org

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