Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Visual Arts Study Links Art Classes to Good Grades – And KidsArt Knows Why By LINDA MOONEY Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 | 5:21 pm Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Make a comment “Fine art is knowledge made visible,” Gustave Courbet once said.And new research proves this every day.In a study out of Stanford University, they discovered that children who do art tend to use more advanced speaking and reasoning skills, and thus develop them better, and are “more likely to win academic awards.” “It’s not surprising,” says KidsArt Executive Director Anna Sheklow, who hears all the time about kids doing better in school after taking up painting or drawing classes.“Both sides of the brain are constantly working in art,” says Sheklow. “It’s so much like science and geometry because you’re learning to measure shapes and components.”She says artists have better visual perception and are more aware of sizes, proportions, shapes and placement.“Perceptions are sharper, they tend to visually catch things better,” says Sheklow. “They’re more observant.”She says it’s why scientists today are bringing in artists to assist the creative thought process, “to see experiences in a whole new way,” and why art training translates well into careers like medicine and law enforcement.KidsArt Manager Susana Rivas agrees.“Look at a Van Gogh painting. Everything has a purpose,” she says. “After you know more about art, you appreciate details more. A lot of people don’t stop and look around.”Rivas says that education is like art in that each lesson has an underlying focal point, which artists are trained to identify.“Kids who take classes here also do better in handwriting at school,” she adds.So where is “here”?Many places. KidsArt has 17 studios, mostly in California, including a studio in Pasadena.The daughter of the founders, Ed and Sher Warren, Sheklow grew up in the environment. Her father, Ed, has a Masters in Fine Art from Rutgers and taught for years at the high school and college level.Along with his wife, the couple started teaching afterschool fine art drawing and painting classes and the program became so popular with so many people driving long distances to apprentice under Ed’s tutelage, that a year later, starting in 1987, KidsArt studios began opening up in multiple locations.Ed developed a curriculum that allowed him to teach a completely individualized, fine art program to all ages and has now taught thousands of students and trained hundreds of teachers, including his own two daughters, who each manage their own KidsArt / Drawn2Art studios.Rivas, likewise, grew up in the environment. Having come to KidsArt since she was a teen, she grew up learning the simple approach and loved it enough to become the Studio Manager and Teacher Trainer at the Montrose location.“Children who started at 4 or 5 years old are now returning to become teachers here,” says Rivas, who was mentored directly by Ed.“With Ed, it is all step-by-step, baby steps, so you know what you’re doing,” says Rivas, who says she learned more at KidsArt than in any of her college art classes, where they “tell you to draw without teaching you.”At KidsArt, however, the approach is very simple.You choose a drawing or painting you like from a collection of level-appropriate curriculum, all created by Ed or his associate, Erin Garey, and you see how it was drawn with simple shapes. The student then uses the step-by-step breakdown to learn correct size, placement, and shape of each image. Basic techniques such as perspective, positive and negative space, direction and use of tone are taught building skills and confidence.“It’s almost like a private lesson,” adds Rivas, “because the teacher-student ratio is so small.”In one class you can find various ages and skill levels, so while one person is learning pastels, another might be mastering acrylics, but all are “learning at their own pace with their own goals.”Despite its name, KidsArt isn’t just for kids. Their oldest student is 85 years old. Classes are offered to students as young as 4, as well as for teens and adults.While adults are free to take classes with younger students, some do, including parents, there are also classes specifically offered for teens and adults.After only a few classes, parents are amazed by their students’ finished artwork. These are skills that can be taught, and the proof is in the pride of the artists for their new-found abilities.“It’s like cooking. You just need to know the basic steps and ingredients. There’s a formula to everything.”Sound like fun? Sign up for a Free Introductory Class.For more information, or to find the closest studio to you, visit www.kidsartclasses.com.You can also call the Pasadena KidsArt at (626) 577-7802 or stop by 20 South Oakland Street.1. Stanford professor Shirley Brice Heath, author of study and senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundations EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Community News HerbeautyNutritional Strategies To Ease AnxietyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? 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Crossing Asia to the Mediterranean Sea, the Silk Road was once a vital route for trade. Named for the Chinese silks its merchants transported to the West, the road — really a mix of intertwining routes — also carried other goods, as well as languages, religions, and philosophies, making the world, if not smaller, then at least more comprehensible, centuries before today’s instantaneous communications.No wonder, then, that in 1998 when the cellist Yo-Yo Ma wanted to bring together musicians from around the world, he named the project after this route, forming a nonprofit that two years later spawned the Silk Road Ensemble. And no wonder, then, that musicians from the ensemble fit so neatly into the Navigation Lecture Series at Radcliffe, for a panel discussion on “Cultural Navigation: Finding One’s Way Across Traditions,” part of the Academic Ventures program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, held in Fay House on Monday.The panel included four Silk Road Ensemble musicians: Cristina Pato (bagpipe), Sandeep Das (tabla), Joseph Gramley (percussion), and Hadi Eldebek (oud). John Huth, the Donner Professor of Science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and co-director of Academic Ventures, introduced them and noted, “Marvelous things emerge when you travel with an instrument to a new land.”Still, said moderator Steve Seidel, director of the Arts in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “The idea of being part of a science series was not an immediately obvious thing to us.” Only when the group realized that it was actually practicing “navigation across cultures” did the theme make sense.It has been a wild journey. In a brief video of the group in performance, bagpipe traded off with flute, while a classical Western string quartet played along with African-style percussion. The music had a strong rhythmic pulse, with solos punctuating ensemble sections. In brief, it swung, despite the fact that, as Gramley noted, “This was the first time that those 12 instruments had played a concert together.”The piece was one of Eldebeck’s contributions, “Shirak,” a folkloric Lebanese-Armenian composition, arranged for the ensemble. The panel discussed the path to the performance as a way of explaining the challenges faced by the ensemble.To arrange the piece, said Eldebeck, he first had to learn about instruments and styles of playing that were foreign to him. Giving an example, he said, “I communicated with Christina. I said I wanted to include her instrument, and I asked how the instrument is played, culturally — what is the context. It shaped my understanding.”In return, Pato had to analyze and describe her instrument, including its limitations. The bagpipe, she said, is invariably loud, which made rehearsing difficult. “If I play,” she said, “they cannot hear each other. And that to me is a lesson. The way we each one of us work in our own independent life is very different from how we work in this ensemble.”The challenge for the musicians came not only from playing along with unfamiliar instruments, but also from working with others from wildly disparate disciplines.“The Arabic tradition, the Indian tradition, we have a lot of emphasis on ornamentation and improvisation,” said Eldebek. In contrast, “The Western classical tradition has a lot of emphasis on specification and dynamics.”It was a conflict that some of the members of the ensemble were able to understand. “I grew up in both traditions,” explained Pato, who also plays piano. “As a classical pianist, I learned the hard way of rehearsing many, many hours. But with the bagpipe, if you rehearse, you lose that beautiful energy.”Forging a path forward involved compromise. “Instead of giving what will be played, I gave when it will be played,” said Eldebek. “I gave, ‘This is the idea, this is the structure, this is the flow’… everyone contributes.”A video clip of the ensemble’s sole hourlong rehearsal showed how the group forged this path with much laughter and a sharing of ideas. For Das, “The journey is about reaching a point where I value what these guys do, how they make it beautiful, how they make it free for themselves. And I feel very enriched that I can enjoy both worlds.”Monday’s panel discussion was a preview of Friday’s Silk Road Ensemble concert at 8 p.m. in Sanders Theatre. (Eldebek will not be part of Friday’s concert.) The concert is sold out, but there will be a line for standby admission.
In the end, it turns out geography didn’t matter after all.Prized free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees agreed to a record nine-year, $324 million contract on Tuesday night, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported, baseball’s winningest franchise outlasting both the Angels and Dodgers for the services of the former Orange Lutheran and UCLA star.Cole’s deal establishes marks for pitchers in total dollars, topping the $245 million, seven-year contract Stephen Strasburg finalized a day earlier to remain with the World Series champion Washington Nationals.Its $36 million average is a record for any player, beating the $35.5 million in outfielder Mike Trout’s $426.5 million, 12-year deal with the Angels that started last season. Cole gets an even $36 million annually and can opt out after the 2024 season. He also has a full no-trade provision. Angels fail to take series in Oakland, lose in 10 innings After finalizing the agreement for 31-year-old Strasburg, agent Scott Boras predicted he would go even higher for Cole, a 29-year-old right-hander.Cole, the runner-up to teammate Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award, was dominant during the regular season and the postseason as the Houston Astros led the majors with 111 total wins. Many believed Cole might prefer a chance to pitch closer to home. He grew up in Newport Beach and met his wife at UCLA, but the team that drafted him out of high school (he chose to spend three seasons at UCLA instead) and tried to trade for him a few years ago, finally got its man.Cole set an Astros record by winning his last 16 regular-season decisions and topped the AL with a career-best 2.50 ERA. His career-high 326 strikeouts were the most in the majors and set an Astros franchise record that had stood since 1979, when J.R. Richard struck out 313.He had only one loss since May 22. That came in Game 1 of the World Series against the Nationals, but he redeemed himself with a stellar outing in Game 5. During the postseason, Cole went 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 36-2/3 innings.“Obviously, when you are talking about a player at the level of Gerrit Cole, in a lot of ways that’s a game-changing type talent,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said earlier in the day. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Cashman visited Cole and wife Amy in California last week, bringing along Boone, new pitching coach Matt Blake and special adviser Andy Pettitte.“We’re just trying to make sure that we educate the player and his family about our culture, everything, what we are,” Cashman said.Cashman said he realized the risk of a lengthy, marketplace-driven free agent contract. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who missed the last two seasons because of injuries, was released this month with one guaranteed season left in a $153 million, seven-year contract.But Cashman pointed to deals that worked, such as Derek Jeter’s $189 million contract that covered 2001-10, pitcher Mike Mussina’s $88.5 million agreement from 2001-06 and Sabathia’s big deal.“Clearly the longer the deals, the more risk you have,” he said. “There’s been examples where we’ve done long, long-term deals and it’s backfired and hasn’t paid off. We’ve done long-term deals where we had benefits.”Before finalizing Cole’s deal, Boras held his usual metaphor-laden Winter Meetings news conference and said this offseason’s uptick in the free agent market was a response to the fourth straight season of decreased major league attendance.“I think a lot of clubs have seen the result of taking an academic approach in a competitive environment, and that has resulted in declines in attendance and lack of interest and unfulfilled expectations,” he said. “Therefore, I believe they’re returning more to a traditional approach, where they’re going to go out and supplement their teams with known and veteran talent.”Even before the meetings, he negotiated a $64 million, four-year contract for infielder Mike Moustakas and Cincinnati. Boras also represents star third baseman Anthony Rendon, another of Washington’s World Series champions who became a free agent,“Major league teams sometimes are like birds,” Boras said. “Some hummingbirds will buzz around and move through the process. There’s probably sparrows who have a big desire to get something big that they can’t quite carry the weight of it. Lately, there’s a lot of owls, where they’re kind of wise and mostly work at night in what they do, very thoughtful. Certainly, we have a lot more hawks this year than the past, and probably the biggest concern is you don’t want to be an ostrich and lay the biggest egg.” Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire New York, which has won 27 World Series titles, has not won one since 2009 and sought an ace to head a rotation that already includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ or Domingo Germán, who might be suspended at the season’s start under the sport’s domestic violence policy.General Manager Brian Cashman executed the move out of the same playbook he used after the 2008 season, when he gave CC Sabathia a $161 million, seven-year deal to lead a staff and establish a clubhouse presence.Eleven years ago, Cole, then a first-round draft pick (No. 28), said no to an offer from the Yankees. Actually, he and his father arrived at a decision so quickly that the Yankees reportedly never even made him a contract offer, and Cole spent three seasons at UCLA before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011.Two years ago, the Yankees tried to get Cole again, this time in a trade from the Pirates. But Pittsburgh preferred the package from the Astros, dealing him in January 2018 as part of a five-player swap. In his two seasons with Houston, armed with a revitalized four-seam fastball and improved mechanics where he left fewer pitches out of the strike zone, Cole went 35-10 with a 2.68 ERA, 602 strikeouts and had a 12.1 WAR.Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts for the Pirates in 2017, and he was traded to Houston that offseason in exchange for pitchers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, third baseman Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin.He had finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2015 and earned the first of his three All-Star selections that season, but he was less effective in his other four seasons in Pittsburgh.Cole also finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting in 2018. Over his seven MLB seasons, Cole has a 94-52 record with a 3.22 ERA and 1,336 strikeouts in 1,195 innings – his ratio of 10.062 strikeouts per nine innings ranks sixth among active players and eighth all-time.Related Articles