The Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach is thrilled to announce 7-year-old ceramics student from the Festival of Arts Youth Art Classes received multiple national honors and recognition for his piece titled: “Master Fish.” The Orange County student, Fritz Gfeller, was selected from hundreds of entries nationwide and received Honorable Mention from National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), the ICAN Elementary Award, and a Bailey Pottery cash award.
“The Festival of Arts youth classes are a summer favorite for my children because of the amazing instructors,” commented Erika Gfeller, Fritz’s mother. “Fritz really connected with Marty because Marty encourages the kids to push limits, be creative, and to not be limited by what something ‘should’ look like. As the youngest of my four children, this experience has really made Fritz feel special and we thank Marty and the Festival of Arts team for that!”
Fritz’s imaginative “Master Fish” mask is a ceramics piece he made in the Festival’s Youth Art Classes last summer (2018) with instructor Marty Barth. The class was Fritz’s third ceramics class and he shared that his mask was inspired by “fish big and little and all colors of the rainbow.”
Fritz’s piece was awarded the NCECA Honorable Mention award and the 2019 ICAN Elementary School Award (given out to only one student out of over 500 entries). His mask stood-out among the hundreds of art pieces submitted across the nation, and was also honored with a cash award from Bailey Pottery. “Master Fish” will be on display for the public to enjoy in the Junior Art Exhibit at the Festival grounds this summer.
In addition to Fritz’s enrollment in the youth art classes, the Gfeller family are regular attendees to the Festival of Arts and the different art programs offered each summer. Erika Gfeller recalled Fritz’s first Festival of Arts hands-on art experience when he was 3-years-old making prints at the Art Center . “As a family, we love how art can grow us,” stated Gfeller. “The visual manifestation of imagination is the best part of the children’s art classes at Festival of Arts. We get to see what our kids dream about!”
Erika Gfeller adds, “Fritz will absolutely be returning to the Festival of Arts this summer, along with his three siblings. We are considering the new unlimited program (Art Explorers), because he is just so excited to make art.”
The Festival of Arts is now accepting reservations for Youth Art Classes, available July 8 – August 17, Monday through Friday at 1pm and 3pm, open to children ages 5-12. In addition to ceramics, classes are available in painting, printmaking, assemblage, and more. Each youth art class is $20 per student. Ceramic classes are $30. Space is limited and reservations are required.
New this year is the Festival of Arts Art Explorers program. Purchase online for unlimited youth art classes all summer long. Other perks of the Art Explorers program include special VIP entrance pass, kid’s art apron, gift shop discount and more.