Sunday, August 5, 2018


Friends, it is with extreme delight that I announce the establishment of the James Aschbacher SPECTRA Fund, supporting art education in the schools!

(I especially love this image they picked for the James Fund page on the ACSCC website. Believe it or not, those marvelous paper cut-out self-portraits were made by 5- and 6-year olds! Could they be any more cool?)

Artist and legendary Cabrillo College art instructor Howard Ikemoto once told a story about the time his seven-year-old daughter asked him what he did when he went to work. "I teach people how to draw," he told her. She looked back at him in wide-eyed surprise. "You mean they forget?"

James loved that story.
Cat Support Group, by James Aschbacher

My Art Boy believed that every child possesses an instinctive ability to create art. All they need is opportunity and encouragement. And although he never took an art class in his life, he was an avid supporter of arts education in the schools, not to teach children "how" to make art, but to provide a nurturing atmosphere to explore their own creativity.

James spent 10 years working with mostly 4th and 5th-graders creating murals at elementary schools countywide. And the students weren't there to color in the muralist's image; James tasked every child with the responsibility of creating his or her own creature or character within the larger framework, and painting it on the wall.

And he was always astonished and delighted to discover what the kids came up with, not from any conscious desire to make "good art," but out of the wild splendor of their own imaginations.

"Kid art" was James' favorite kind! He would be thrilled to have his name associated with a fund to support art in the schools, and encourage children to discover their own inner artists.

Visit the page if you'd like to join the support group!

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