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81C Offers ‘Expression Through The Arts’ — an 81C Studio Summer Youth Arts Program

81C is an event venue in historic downtown featuring a
pop-up event space and art gallery. (Submitted photo)

81C is happy to announce the launch of “Expression Through The Arts,” an 81C Studio Summer Youth Arts Program, operating at 81C Studio in the famed Pissarro Building on Main Street in Historic Charlotte Amalie. The property is the birthplace of renowned impressionist painter and artistic pioneer Camille Pissarro. Classes start June 17 and cater to ages 7-17, with student spots currently available. Class purchases and reservations can be made by visiting www.81CVI.ORG

The 81C Studio project received endorsements and fiscal support provided by Alpine Securities USVI and IPB and ICMC, allowing for a full revamp of its art studio space, and the launch of several art and education programs, including “Expression Through The Arts.”

“IPB and ICMC are proud to support 81C Studio in its launch of this summer youth arts program, as well as Digi-Local, an upcoming digital arts class. Support for the arts and the programs 81C Studio aims to build sits at the intersection of two of our philanthropic focus areas — education and community. We are excited for the opportunities 81C Studio is bringing to arts education in St. Thomas.”
— Allison Flanders, IPB and ICMC

“Supporting Virgin Islands art and culture is part of our philanthropic mission at Alpine. 81C Arts offers a unique and exciting opportunity to bring young artists to the historic Camille Pissarro building to continue their education in contemporary and visual arts. It’s a pleasure to support programs and initiatives like this.”
– Vernon Araujo, Alpine Securities USVI

Program Description:
81C Arts’ “Expression through The Arts” Summer Youth Art Program provides a safe and supportive environment for participants to immerse themselves in the language and techniques of self-expression, expanding their social-emotional skills and developing their artistic potential.

It provides the opportunity for our youth to be exposed to local art as well as engage in critiques/ discussion of the artwork created by themselves and their peers, allowing for an enriching and rewarding experience.

We work with students in a variety of mediums, focusing on drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpting.  The program will include creative writing as well as presentation/leadership opportunities to build a well-rounded art student.

Activities will vary from day to day but generally include both group interaction and independent work.  A large portion of the day will be dedicated to “studio time” where students may be engaged with multiple projects simultaneously, challenging them to manage their time.

Participants will have the opportunity for field trips to 81C Arts’ main gallery and pop-up venue to experience the organization’s Artist Dialogues Series, which pairs presenting artists with students for discussions on the artistic process.

Finally, an open house/reception will be held at the end of the summer course to give students, families and teachers an opportunity to share in the experience and see the artwork created during the program duration.

81C STUDIO – 14 DRONNINGENS GADE, ST THOMAS – HISTORIC CHARLOTTE AMALIE. The Camille Pissarro Building is the birthplace of renowned impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.

Primary Instructor, qualifications, and Instructor bio:
Program art instructor: Dyonna Potter.
Art + Education Advisory Council Member, 81C Arts
Art Teacher, All Saints Cathedral School INC
Guest instructors include 81C curators, program directors, and participating community artists.

Potter is a creative soul with an innate passion for the arts and design. Born and raised on St. Thomas, she started her artistic career in high school as a member of The School of Visual Arts and Careers (SVAC) and was also involved in a number of productions at Pistarckle Theatre in Tillett Gardens Center for the Arts.  She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design, in Atlanta, Ga., and received certificates in graphic design from both Pace University and Shillington School of Graphic Design.

After working several years as a technical designer for major fashion houses in NYC, she moved back home in the summer of 2020, where she soon became a K-12 art educator at her alma mater, All Saints Cathedral School Inc.

Potter loves to help bring people’s ideas into reality through the use of art, design and education.  Her short-term goals are to expose the youth of the territory to a higher level of expression in the arts while evolving and growing as a reputable artist in the Virgin Islands.

Dyonna Potter along with Shem Matthew head an Art and Education Advisory Council for 81C Arts (Atelier St Thomas Arts Foundation).

Two Scheduling Options:
The program is offered in two available sessions and age groups:
Monday, June 17 through Thursday, July 11 (Ages 13-17)
Monday, July 15 through Thursday, Aug. 8 (Ages 7-12)

Local and visiting youth, ages 7-17

Scholarship Options:

Scholarship slots are available, made possible by 81C Arts’ community partners, IPB/ICMC.
Scholarships are offered to students based on combined household income qualifiers. The purpose of the scholarship option is to offer equal access to this program for families of students who are not able to afford the program’s cost. Scholarship applications are available upon request by visiting www.81CVI.ORG
Inclusions + Cost:
The program offers art education to students Monday through Thursday,  a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Class size is up to 16 students max. / Ages 7-17.
Drop off is 7:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and pickup is 2:45 p.m.
Students break for a 45-minute lunch period at 11:30 a.m. Please note that students are to bring their own packed lunch. A refrigerator and microwave are made available to students.
Art materials, class instruction, light snacks, and water are provided to students.
The classes cost $980 per month-long sessions.

Student Impact:
81C Arts’ Summer Youth Arts Program fosters a close-knit community in which participants will increase or develop their self-awareness, build confidence in cultivating their own artistic voice, and open themselves up to new perspectives and experiences.

Students connect in an environment where they are able to express themselves through the creation of art and related discussion topics. This creates awareness around building independent creative problem-solving skills so that students can better prepare themselves in developing new ideas and solutions in life.

About 81C Arts and 81C:

81C Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit art and education organization established in 2017 and founded by Zack Zook. The organization runs all art and education programs for the 81C brand. 81C opened in historical Charlotte Amalie in 2020 on Strand Gade, and is open weekdays, noon to 8 p.m. Visit www.81CVI.COM for all info on 81C and 81C Arts.

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