Children’s art in spotlight
by Nikki Chase / For the Tracy Press
Jun 20, 2013 | 9933 views | 0 0 comments | 85 85 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kids art expo
Art teacher Sarah McNamara (second from right), 40, organizer of the second Kids Art Expo, took a group picture with sponsors and children at the event Saturday, June 15, at the Tracy Branch Library.  Nikki Chase/For the Tracy Press
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An art teacher transformed the Tracy Branch Library into a colorful tour of the United States on Saturday, June 15, all in an effort to spark creativity in young artists.

A contract teacher for the city of Tracy, Sarah McNamara, 40, hosted her second Kid’s Art Expo in the Wadsworth Room of the library, 20 E. Eaton Ave.

The event was inspired by Creative Corners, a children’s cooking and art class taught by McNamara at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, 715 Central Ave., and featured her students’ artwork.

“A lot of public schools unfortunately have had budgetary cuts, and so art is being lost in school,” she said. “To kind of help children still get that art appreciation and understanding is the reason why I started teaching the class.”

Hosting the expo meant so much to the Creative Corners teacher that anything she couldn’t get donated came out of her own pocket.

“Let them share their artwork with their families and friends,” McNamara said. “I just think it’s so much more influential that way.”

The paintings done by her 12 students formed an alphabetical, artistic tour of the United States and mapped out the styles of famous artists from Alabama to Maryland. Their artwork is the first half of a two part series that will be continued at next year’s Kid’s Art Expo.

Along with colorful fine art, children and parents were treated to face painting by Doodles the Clown, balloon animals from Balloons by Iris and food, all donated by local businesses. Jody Harcourt, 54, gave the crowd a sample of the Music Together class she teaches at the Grand for toddlers and young children and their parents.

Raj Halait, 42, a first-time sponsor of the event and franchise owner of Papa Murphy’s Pizza, 1892 W. 11th St., donated pizza to the expo.

“We do like to get into programs with kids,” Halait said. “I told her (Sarah McNamara) we would love to participate.”

Other sponsors who jumped at the chance to help were Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt franchise owners Bob Bloch, 66, and wife Adele, 60. The couple met McNamara when her class took a tour of Menchie’s, 1888 W. 11th St., on a field trip.

“It’s so much fun meeting all the people and the kids,” Bob Bloch said. “I get to be like a grandpa to everybody in town.”

Other sponsors included Intermission Productions, the city of Tracy, Give Every Child a Chance, Firehouse Administration, Golden Corral and Raley’s grocery store.

• Contact the Tracy Press at 835-3030 or

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