New Street Art Installations for Art Hop

Clay/Ceramics teacher Kristine was out with Visual Arts teacher Sophia, and a crew of EC artists (James Brizendine, Lupe Chavez, Oscar Onsurez, Richard Chavez, Jose Salgado, and Yadira Prado), installing some new street art in downtown Merced, to coincide with Merced Art Hop this Saturday, April 19th.  Post a photo to social media, #ECArtists. And, if you’re in Merced, go downtown and check out Art Hop from 5-9pm. Visit the Art Hop website for more information.


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One of our snails has someone cornered. It’s cool man. Don’t freak out. We just want to be friends.

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Hiding under a bush, you might find a treasure, like this piece by Sophia Mendez, based on Oaxacan story sculpture.



Snails: An Artful Invasion

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The EC artists are embarking on a new project—public art.  The project was initially inspired by an

Imageimage of J. Seward Johnson’s public art piece “Awakenings” depicting a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself as he wakes.  The image inspired conversations about the differences between public art and “private” art.  Who is the public art is for?  What is its purpose?  What do people think when they see it? Does it change the way the artist creates, when the art will be public?

Phase 1 of our project involved understanding the role of public art in the world, and in our small town.  We recognized that our project does not fit the standard definition of public art.  Our project will not be sanctioned by any local government.  Our art is not meant to be a permanent or fixed installation.  We know it may move, be damaged, and even disappear.  We want people to interact with our art.  Our art will not be big, bold, and obvious.  We want it to be small, subdued, and installed with guerrilla-style sneakiness.   So, the project soon revealed itself as being more street art than public art.  Same intention, different label.

Our ideas were all over the place during phase 1, until our clay/ceramic arts instructor Kristine Hansen introduced us to Ji Lee’s Mysterabbit project.  The message?  In this hustle-bustle world, stop to enjoy the moment—art is everywhere.   We love that.  We decided that Lee’s project was exactly what we were trying to achieve, in the same manner we were planning, but on a much (much) larger scale.  It was the template we needed.

Once we decided what our overall project would look like, we walked around our neighborhood (Downtown Merced), to scope out locations for installation.  We also needed to decide what our small sculptures would be.

It was important to everyone that they be simple and identifiable.


There was brainstorming, model making, and eventually we decided upon the snail.

Phase 2 of our project involves the making of our snails…

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Enrichment Center Advice for Royal Baby George

The EC artists followed the royal pregnancy in its final weeks, wondering when the baby would come, and if it would be a boy or girl… a king or queen. When a baby boy was born to William and Kate in July 2013, the EC artists wondered about the kind of person he would grow up to be. Would he benefit from his late grandmother’s influence on his dad? Would he be pampered and spoiled into royal snootiness, like his grandfather? Would he be King?… So, we pondered the advice we would give, to make him a good king, and a cool, well-rounded guy.

“Brave, but foolish,” said the Sphinx

In late May 2013, the Enrichment Center Theatre Arts component completed production of it’s “theatrical trailer” for Ed the King, a take on Oedipus Rex.  

James Brizendine………… Ed the King

Hilda Cotta………………….Tiresias, the Blind and Wise

Ivan Hernandez……………The Sphinx

Eric Thompson…………….Young Ed

Jose Miguel Castaneda…. First Man at the Sphinx / Young Ed’s Father

Richard Chavez…………… Wizard

Calixta Perez……………….Queen

Sofia Mendez……………….Ed’s son

Anna Reyna………………..Person who crowns Young Ed

and as the Starving Masses:

Juan Betancourt, Calixta Perez, Maria Chavez, Sofia Mendez, Danette Rizzonelli, Shirley Brizendine, Marlen Hernandez

Paint-Your-Own Pottery

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Unfinished pottery (bisque) on the shelf, waiting to be painted.

Our Art for the Heart workshops were so popular, with participants reporting so much enjoyment from the experience that we decided to start a   new project:  Paint-Your-Own Pottery workshops.

Links to some of our flyers for the workshops:
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Just in time for Mother’s Day! The Enrichment Center will be hosting two pottery painting workshops at the Multicultural Arts Center, 645 W. Main St. in Merced, CA.

Thursday, April 25th     6-8pm

Saturday, April 27th    12-2pm

Since this is our first workshop, we weren’t sure how much of what type of bisque to order. However, Mother’s Day seemed like a safe theme to focus on cups/mugs, vases, and frames. We designed our selection to provide participants with a variety of styles and prices to choose from. The EC will provide an introduction to the materials, guidance throughout, and everything you need to paint your pottery– glaze (paint), brushes, water, towels.

130414_PYOP_red flyer thumb for webHow it works:

Step 1: Register for one of the workshops.
$9 member / $10 non-member
Register a table of 8 and SAVE 20%
$57.60 member / $64 non-member

Step 2: Purchase your pottery at the workshop
Prices will range from $5 to $20 plus tax.

Step 3: Choose your colors. We’ll give you an introduction to glaze
(paint), how it works, and how to get the results you’re
looking for. We’ll set you up with the colors you’ve chosen,
and everything you need to start painting.

Step 4: Paint your pottery. Workshops are 2 hours long. We’ll be

available to provide guidance throughout the workshop.  At the end
of the workshop, leave your pottery with us, along with your
contact information.

Step 5: We’ll fire the pottery in our kiln.  Finished pottery will be ready for pick up
by Saturday, May 4th.

Be prepared for Mother’s Day, upcoming birthdays, even get a jump on Father’s Day.

Register now! Space is limited, and we will not be taking walk-in’s.

To register, pick up or print the April 2013 Paint Your Own Pottery Registration Form and bring it in with your payment to the Multicultural Arts Center, 645 W. Main St., Merced, CA.   The Enrichment Center office is in room 6 on the 3rd floor, but you can also register in the Arts Council’s business office on the 2nd floor.

For more information, email us at or call us at (209) 388-1162.