ASI Children’s Program artwork displayed in Sac State Union

University Union Hosts Annual “More Than Just Squiggles” Exhibition

The entrance to the “More Than Just Scribbles” art exhibition on the second floor of University Union on Monday, September 20, 2021. The exhibition will continue to run daily from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm until Thursday, 30 September. Photo by Nicque McMullen

Nicque McMullen

Walking into the “More Than Just Squiggles” art exhibit can be nostalgic for anyone who is proud of the works of art they made as a youngster.

Artwork by the children of ASI’s Children’s Program hangs on the walls of the gallery on the second floor of the Union at Sacramento State University this week.

This exhibition began as works of art hung in the second-floor study area about 15 years ago, according to Director of the ASI Children’s Center Sherry Velte by e-mail. In the spring of 2017, the exhibition moved to the Gallery, where it has been an annual tradition since then.

Over 100 children aged 6 months to around 6 years participated in the creation of the artwork, displayed along with a description of the materials used to create the art and the child’s thinking process behind each piece.

Teachers at the ASI Children’s Center observe and record what interests children during their stay at the center during recess and field trips.

“From there, teachers make it easier for children to create by putting together the materials they will need, providing them with many days and weeks to create the play and document the children’s speech.[s]expressions [and] ideas, ”Velte said in his email.

Ideas created from watching children range from coloring ice cubes and beeswax to riding tricycles with paint on a rag and rolling toy cars through the paint.

With the art hanging on the walls, these young artists come to experience it for themselves.

Gallery attendant Hanaa Alnassiry said a group of two and three-year-old children from the Children’s Center stopped to view their artwork, which caused them to dance and take photos with their art.

“They were delighted” said Alnassiry. “They were so happy to see their things were here. [The children] saw a few plays that their friends made, and they were really happy to see that too.

Niya Allen, a gallery owner, said it opens the eyes of those who come to visit us.

“[Visitors] are fascinated by the fact that the kids created it all, ”Allen said.

The families of these children were proud and enthusiastic, according to Velte. Before COVID-19, the Children’s Center hosted an evening reception for children, their families and other special guests, including members of the Crocker Art Museum.

Some examples of artwork on display in the gallery include pieces inspired by the children’s game “I Spy”, the solar system and a collection of finds from a nature hike.

“I think it reinforces from a young age how important art and creativity are and it makes them feel like what they create is valued, appreciated and important,” said Rebecca Voorhees, Design, Identity and Studio Manager for The University Union by email.

“More Than Just Scribbles” will continue to take place at University Union from Tuesday September 21 to Thursday September 23 from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm.

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