Creative Roots | Harwood Art Center

Creative Roots

  • Creative Roots members in the Annual Marigold Parade

  • Creative Roots members walking with their giant-sized handmade puppets

  • Creative Roots, Community Art Day, Screen Printing Demo

  • Creative Roots, Community Art Day, Freshly Printed Ts

  • Creative Roots, Family Art Day

  • Creative Roots, Youth Mural Project 2014

  • Creative Roots, Community Art Day 2014, Screen Printing

  • Creative Roots, Art Carnival 2013

  • Creative Roots, Art Carnival 2013

  • Creative Roots, Community Art Day, Screen Printing

  • Creative Roots, Community Art Day, Screen Printing

Harwood Art Center's Creative Roots provides free quality arts education to youth aged 6-14.

Professional artists teach a wide range of skills through interdisciplinary and community based art projects. These projects engage students in vital team building and creative problem solving exercises. Creative Roots is designed to strengthen our community, develop a sense of belonging in our children and celebrate our shared culture.

Creative Roots is a year-round program with more than a decade of success at Harwood Art Center. In response to community input sessions that revealed a need for this program to grow, Creative Roots now has three points of community engagement:
• Weekly Workshops at Wells Park Community Center
• Saturday Community Art Days for youth from across the city
• Youth Mural Project, which meets weekly at Garfield Middle School- now a STEM magnet school.

In March 2016, all Creative Roots students will collaborate on an exhibition for Harwood’s 25th Anniversary program. The Creative Roots exhibition will include interactive projects designed by our youth and will premier at our annual capstone event, Encompass. A free month-long celebration of community and art, Encompass features interactive art, multigenerational collaborations, site-specific installations, live music, film screenings, open studios with 39 resident artists, and on-site art making opportunities in diverse media. Creative Roots puts youth in leadership of a significant component of Encompass: their exhibition and interactive projects will be enjoyed by 1,500+ people on opening night and this creative stage fills the students with pride and confidence.

This work is not possible without the mentorship of the professionals we employ. Our instructors are practicing artists with broad knowledge of art techniques and a deep relationship with the culture, community and energy of contemporary art.

Thank you

Creative Roots is made possible by support from the McCune Charitable Foundation, Bernalillo County, and by generous support from our community.

Harwood’s outreach program, Creative Roots, provides youth with free hands-on arts learning, leadership and exhibition opportunities. Creative Roots will meet at Wells Park Community Center every Wednesday afternoon starting September 2nd and running through the school year following the APS calendar. Students will learn printmaking, ceramics, mural making, and more with talented professional teaching artists.

Students in grades K-2 will meet from 2-3pm.
Students in grades 3-5 will meet from 3-4pm.

In March 2016, all Creative Roots students will collaborate on an exhibition for Harwood’s 25th Anniversary program featured at our annual Encompass Event. Look for details to come!

Though Creative Roots is free and open to any students enrolled at Wells Park, we ask that you complete our simple sign up form so that we can plan accordingly.

Creative Roots students will continue to work with the accomplished local public arts collective, Friends of the Orphan Signs through a series of Community Art Days. Harwood’s community learning space, 6th Street Studio South, is home to an abandoned neon sign. We will have solicited our community’s creativity and designed a new public artwork called The Seedling Sign. This is artwork that will continue to grow and change with ongoing neighborhood workshops.

Community Art Days will also travel across the city to venues such as the Rail Yards Market and Albuquerque’s Mini-Makers Faire, with projects that grow under the involvement of attendees and culminate in a collaborative exhibition such as our 2014 exhibition, (re)Creating the Cottonwoods at Bachechi Open Space.

Youth Mural Project is held weekly at Garfield Middle School and Hayes Middle School. Garfield students will enter their third year in the Youth Mural Project under the mentorship of local Artist Faustino Villa.  It is the first year of Youth Mural Project at Hayes, and studnets will work with celebrated artist Shawn Turung.

Students are gearing up to lead the design and installation of a monumental outdoor mural on their campus in the next school year. They will submit a proposal before their school administration for a mural that expresses their own interests and concerns while gaining arts training in drawing, collage, print making and painting from the teaching artists.

Garfield students will led the creation of a site-specific mural at Encompass 2016 & 2015. 

Are you a Garfield Family? Sign your child up for Youth Mural Project here!



Former Director of Harwood

When I started the building was primarily a studio center for artists with very little public programming. The only staff members were the Building Manager Marshall Kovitz and me, and we were both part-time. I worked to expand the reach of Harwood through lots more exhibitions, classes and events, and the Harwood Summer Arts Camp. I focused on community involvement and marketing, which transformed Harwood from a mostly quiet studio center into a public venue that was always buzzing with activity.

I am grateful to the Harwood for launching my career in arts administration over 20 years ago and for serving as the umbrella for 516 ARTS in our first year.

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