Visual Artist and educator Julia James received the sixth annual Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award this week, which is also National Arts Education Week. The Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award recognizes exceptional accomplishments in arts education in Marin County, in memory of the dedication and commitment of Youth in Arts’ former Executive Director Pamela Levine. The $1,000 award was presented at Back to School Night at Mary Silveria Elementary School on Thursday, September 11. As the accolade was presented to Julia by Executive Director Miko Lee, parents rose to give Julia a standing ovation.
Julia has been a Mentor Artist at Youth in Arts for almost 20 years. She began teaching in Youth in Arts’ VSA program (now called “Arts Unite Us”) for children with disabilities. She has been a resident artist in the Artists in Schools program every year since, and established the visual art program at Mary Silveria, where her work with students has resulted in two exhibits at YIA Gallery in downtown San Rafael.
Julia has been an exhibiting artist for over 25 years. She has a degree in jewelry and design from London and is a credentialed teacher. Julia encourages students to use their imagination and find their creative voices, using a variety of media. Julia teaches students basic art skills through lessons aligned with California curriculum standards for Visual Arts. She loves to share the knowledge of art and the creative spirit, believing that art is a wonderful process that opens the door to many types of learning.
Through Youth in Arts, Julia has brought art alive for thousands of students. Some of the many art forms she has taught include: Bookmaking, Drawing, Painting, Paper Exploration, Portraiture, Printmaking, Portraiture, Mixed Media, Chinese & Japanese Brush painting, Collage and Sculpture.
“As a long time dedicated and talented arts educator, we believe that Julia embodies the passion and spirit of the Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award,” stated Lee.
The Pamela Levine Arts Education Leadership Award is awarded to an individual or organization demonstrating exceptional achievement in arts education program design and implementation, and ongoing support for learning in and through the arts in Marin County. Other important criteria include the integration of arts into the life of a school or district, effective collaborations, and success in building links between the program and the community. Awardees are selected by the staff and Board of Directors of Youth in Arts in consultation with the family of Pam Levine.
Youth in Arts is a nonprofit organization founded in 1970 that provides visual and performing arts programs for PreK-Grade 12 students in and out of school. Through artist residencies, professional performances, school and community events and intensive out-of-school programs for teens, Youth in Arts helps young people of all abilities develop skills and confidence to share their unique creative voices at school and community events and at YIA Gallery, the only art gallery in the North Bay dedicated to showcasing student artists. More information is available on the web at youthinarts.org.