Imagine Community Arts Center

Granite Hills students and graduates Patricia Bedolla, Lizbeth Ceballos, Gabriela Vargas, Daniel Alvarado volunteer and work at Imagine Community Arts Center at their new location at 93 N. Main Street, Suite D, on Tuesday, June 4, not far from the Porterville Chamber of Commerce. Emily Luci is painting a project on the far end of the work desk.

Creative fun for children

Imagine Community Arts Center has been in business since 2010 when founder Rebecca Reyes opened the nonprofit art center for children to foster their creativity and art in the community. It is a fun and creative place for kids from third to sixth grade to learn about all kinds of art forms and activities, the center is also teaching kids and young adults about technology as well. “Our mission is to foster and encourage creative expression in everyone,” is on the center's website, and the studio is a truly welcoming place for children, young people, and adults alike.

There is a lovely woven fabric project hanging, water color paintings on the wall, drawings, and all sorts of interesting projects and games that young people can work on.

Project manager Andy Luci showed off the new studio space Tuesday, which is not far from the Porterville Chamber of Commerce, at 93 N. Main St., Suite D, in Porterville. He has worked in after school programs for years, and said Imagine is running after school programs for art and activities and also offers walking art tours (field trips) with local businesses.

After the field trip,” Luci said, “we end up at the studio and students can work on projects or play with all our hands-on installations.”

In a 3-D building design project, students learn to measure accurately with a ruler, draw all angles of a building like a blueprint, then build a 3-D mock-up using cardboard, which they paint realistically. Having built the model, they then install lights and electronics.

Students can use a local building like Stafford's Chocolates as their model, or some students designed her own schoolhouse.

This is not super technical, but the students learn to measure, use tools, and use color when they design the buildings,” said Luci.

Recent Granite Hills grad Daniel Alvarado was working with a digital camera on a tripod, and Luci explained they have use of a green screen at the center and can create stop motion animation. Students also work on electronics at the center.

Local artists teach during paint night, and on Tuesday afternoon Granite Hills graduates and senior interns and volunteers were working on projects in the afternoon just for some early summer fun. Alvarado was handling the circuitry, Patricia Bedolla was working on robotic encoding, and Lizbeth Ceballos and Gabriela Vargas were working on making molded plastic keychains, while Emily Luci was painting.

There are certain activities scheduled each week in June: this week is 3-D models, the second week in June is painting, third week is printmaking, and the last week is working with textiles. The weeks in July will have the same activities, but kids will need to register for classes.

There are also paint nights for adults to have fun with their peers and enjoy a class with a local artist, with complimentary adult beverages included. The next adult paint night is June 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.

All summer, high school students will be volunteering to help with classes. Imagine Community Arts Center has two classes for summer art programming from 9 a.m. To 12 noon, and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Classes are $50 per week.

For more information call 559-791-8540 or  visit

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