Art Division is celebrating its 10-year anniversary providing art education to underserved students, with a virtual art auction and fundraiser on Saturday, May 15 at 6 p.m. Artists Ed Ruscha, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Nava, Kiki Smith have donated work for the auction, which will also feature work from Art Division students.
Art Division is dedicated to educating underserved and at-risk young adults 18-26 in the MacArthur Park neighborhood of the city, who are committed to studying the visual arts. The teaching staff includes renowned artists in their fields, who offer classes in painting, photography, printmaking and art history. In addition to instruction in art-making skills, students can get vocational training in the “Learn Do Teach” program. After completing the Art Division curriculum, they teach at Alexandria House, a local transitional residence for women and children.
Local realtor and board member Mary Woodward has served on the board since the inception of the school.
“Over the last 10 years, Art Division has demonstrated the transformative power the arts can have on the lives of young people,” Woodward told the Buzz. “The classes are free so we can help students develop the tools they need to pursue higher education and self-sufficiency. Our goal is to be an incubator for creativity,” explained Woodward, who also said, “I’d be happy to give Buzz readers a private tour of the facility and gallery!”
Woodward was invited to join the board by founder, director, and artist Dan McCleary, whom Woodward has known since high school. McCleary was motivated to start the school when he realized how little arts education was available to students in the center city area.
“I live and work in the area and I noticed that there are very few art programs for young adults once they reach 18,” founder, director and artist, Dan McCleary told the Buzz. “We started in 2011. The school really came together when we acquired the building on West 6th Street. We have a gallery, art studio and a 10,000 volume art library. What I hope they get out of their studies is a fierce belief in themselves and their work.”
The Art Division started with eight students 10 years ago and now enrolls more than 100. Graduates of the program have matriculated to universities such as Yale, UCL, and UC Riverside. Prominent galleries and institutions have shown students’ work, including the USC Fisher Gallery, the Annenberg Beach House, and the Mexican Consulate. Currently physically closed due to the pandemic, the school is teaching students online, but will re-open this summer.
Later this year, the Huntington Library will showcase student works in a special exhibit entitled, “One Hundred Years of MacArthur Park: Young Artists Consider a Los Angeles Neighborhood.”
“The virtual art auction and fundraiser, just one hour long on Saturday, May 15 at 6 p.m., will be hosted by singer songwriter PHRANC, and will include musical performances and student testimonials,” said Woodward. “It’s an excellent opportunity to procure some of Los Angeles’ up-and-coming new artists’ work. Other auction items include special curated tours by Dan McCleary to local museums and galleries.”
“Art Division is entirely funded by donations from foundations and contributions from individuals,” explained Woodward. “Art purchases aid in advancing the opportunities for the next generation of Los Angeles artists and uplifting a neighborhood. Bid on some outstanding works while doing good!”
The art show and auction is available for preview now and bidding began May 8th. Click here to register. The event will be live via YouTube and the link will be sent to all those registered. Online donations are welcome!
Visit Art Division on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. Art Division is a 501c3 organization.