The instructor, the children, and the arts


By: Jossie Capon, Class of 2017

You walk into a big room with black painted walls. He brings out the tables and begins to assemble them. Once that is done he sets up the snacks table and brings out the art supplies. Suddenly you have a Jersey City Theater Center art classroom.

JCTC Kids’ mission is bringing art to children.  According to JCTC, art is about creating or uniting a community. JCTC Kids Program is now offering classes for young children from the ages of 6-12 years old. These classes allow the children to express themselves and acquire new artistic skills.  The instructor of theses classes is renowned artist Gabriel Pacheco.

Gabriel starts with a recap from the previous class and encourages the students to be interactive. He encourages every student to speak up and be a part of the class. One aspect he reinforces in his students is to be resourceful. He wants his kids to be able to think on their own and decide what will work in their art.

“I want them to be independent by learning from their mistakes,” Gabriel said. “This way their art turns out better.”

Stephanie Lopez, JohnJohn Arboleda, and Sofia Hassell are some students enrolled in the class.  They all agree that Gabriel is one cool and creative teacher. Every class ends with a critique and the students display their art and each take a turn discussing what they liked about it.

Parents also enjoyed the classes and witnessing how much their children are growing as artists. Susana Andia, a Jersey City resident, enrolled her daughter in the class last year.  

“Stephanie’s school recommended me JCTC because she has shown great interest in art,” Susana said. “I like the class and how Gabriel treats the kids and he has patience and every class they learn new things.”

Parents drop off their kids at 10:30 a.m. and return in two hours to pick them up. Susana sees her daughter’s enjoyment and admires the structure of the class.

“Yes of course! I would definitely recommend these classes. They help with the artistic development and other aspects. It helps them break out of shyness and create better relations with other people.”

Gabriel, meanwhile, hopes the young artists leave his class with more than just a love for art.

“To be better presenters, to be more resourceful, to communicate better with their peers, and to celebrate art,” he said.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Olga Levina says:

    Thank you Josie,
    Great work! I love the way you depicted the unique atmosphere at Merseles Studios. After all, here at JCTC, the youngest artists come to a place where professional visual as well as performing artists develop their works. Gabriel utilizes that fact well too in his process of educating. He encourages children to view JCTC’s gallery, teaches them to observe, explains that they all can pick their own arts medium, asks them to point out what they like and teaches them that it is OK to be different and have their own tastes and opinions on everything.

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