On June 1st, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim were awarded a grant for our Little Picassos program. This program selects the gifted art students in our general arts & crafts activities and places them in advanced art classes with local artists. Frank Castillo, better known as Franky Castle, was the artist we initially chose to run the first art lesson. Little did we know that the program would become based entirely around Franky's painting techniques. As a fellow son of Anaheim, Franky connected well with our youth and they with him.
After one lesson, our kids were clamoring for further lessons. Surprised at the reaction, Franky agreed to begin coming regularly. The next few lessons followed in the same vein before he began to become incredibly busy. After seeing some of his work, the Garden Walk in Anaheim had asked him to occupy a space and set up his gallery in their structure. As a part of their Art on the Walk program, the Walk asks local Orange County artists to set up displays of their work for 2-3 months at a time.
However, in the midst of this stress, Franky saw the chance for a unique opportunity. Our goal at the beginning of the program was to provide recognition for young artists by getting their work hung/submitted for local galleries. With this in mind, Franky opened his doors to fifteen of our kids who had the chance to paint in an established studio and then have their work hung in his gallery. At the time of writing, their respective works have been on display for over a month within his space on the Garden Walk.
Aside from his collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim, Franky has worked tirelessly with organizations in and around Anaheim. As a result of his devotion, the Garden Walk asked him to accompany them to receive an award from the Anaheim Arts Council. As a professional painter, Franky has only been fully active since mid-2016 yet he has already seen his work build connections with two separate organization members of the Council as well as many others in Orange County. We are very pleased with this progress and are excited to see further fruits from the Art Council's support of artists and organizations in the community!
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