The “Saratoga Silly Project,” a collection of ceramics, claymation, and animation, will be displayed in an interactive gallery at Saratoga Family Residence.

The project features clay sculpture characters based on children at Saratoga sculpted by Beverly George, a recreation coordinator in the afterschool program. The figures are inspired by the style and concept of the 1999 animated stop-motion television show The PJs, which follows a group of characters living in an urban public housing project. Each child learned about many facets of sculpting, including “sitting for an artist to sculpt their likeness,” how photos are sometimes used as points of reference, and so much more. In addition, they helped design a “window” for their character to reside in within the gallery. George developed a storyline based the children’s experiences with homelessness to be “performed” using the clay sculptures. “The project gives a voice to the children in the program while teaching them about character development and the arts,” commented Director of Afterschool & Recreation Michael Chapman, who even got in on the act with a sculpture of his own. There’s nothing silly about the impact of this project and how it let youth explore their own lived experiences and identities through artistic expression. This is one of many clubs the Afterschool and Recreation program at Saratoga offers the youth based on their collective interests.

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