|Participant working on the mural at the HCC Ybor Show.|
Community Stepping Stones is a non-profit founded in 2004 by Ed Ross, a USF art instructor and local resident, to help at-risk kids heal, regain control over their lives, a positive identity, problem-solving skills, become capable of teamwork, and much more. CSS also functions as a USF in-service training location for Senior Students and has achieved national recognition.
Their "Paint the Possible" show is part of the "Mural Messaging" program, in which participants are trained in composing images in Photo Shop, grid them out, and paint them in mural fashion for local businesses and organizations commercially, thus raising funds for the organization while simultaneously giving the kids the experience of dealing with a client on a project, from beginning to end (with adult supervision, of course).
|Stepping Stones Portrait|
Carolyn Kossar, who is HCC Ybor Gallery Director, is also on the Board of Directors of CSS, told me this project was partially funded by a City grant that she has written the application for. On the right and left are pictures of portraits done by the kids, showing the level of skills achieved via the CSS program, which provides a simple, effective and sound way of doing murals and portraits.
On the right is a gridded drawing showing the working method used by the CSS students.
Among the many who attended the gallery opening was Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, seen here on the right. He understands the significance of the arts to the City and is a supporter.
Part of the process involves tweaking the imagery taken with cameras in Photo Shop, a valuable skill. At the opening, there was a makeshift studio backdrop. Participants in CSS took pictures, worked on them in Photo Shop.
|Carolyn Kossar on the left.|
This young lady on the left played the drums beautifully.
A few pictures in closing...
Congratulations to the artists, Community Stepping Stones, HCC Ybor Gallery/Carolyn Kossar, Director, and the City for opening the door to the future for so many, and for a fine show.