Museum Calls on Young Hands to Promote Program

Times Staff Writer

More than 60 second-graders from Irvine put their creative instincts to work Tuesday at the Newport Harbor Art Museum, and judges selected their favorite drawing to use as a poster that will advertise the museum's "Free Tuesday" program.

"Free Tuesday," which started last October, is just what the name indicates: With a $50,000 grant from Jack Shea, a museum trustee and president of Beacon Bay Enterprises Inc. in Newport Beach, the museum has been able to eliminate admission charges on Tuesdays through the rest of the year.

Shea said the museum was trying to come up with a novel way to promote the program and "thought maybe we could get the kids involved. This seemed like a natural."

So, students from Bonita Canyon Elementary School sprawled on the museum floor, working with multicolored poster board, chalk and tissue. The original plan was for the young artists to take their cues from the geometric lines and shapes in Ron Davis' "No. 573--Vent Duo and Invert," which was hanging on a nearby wall (and which will also be depicted on the poster). But Shea told the kids to "do whatever you want."

Morgan MacGilvray, 8, took Shea's advice and depicted a trio of dinosaurs that included a purple brontosaurus. He professed no special affection for the extinct creatures: "It's just that I'm good at drawing dinosaurs."

Carey Bruce's effort took a more geometric approach. He explained that it was a drawing of a soccer field. "I like coloring and stuff," the 8-year-old soccer buff said.

While the youngsters worked on their posters, a crash course in art criticism was given to the judges, who included Narda Zacchino, deputy managing editor of the Los Angeles Times and editor of The Times Orange County Edition; Tim Kelly, managing editor of the Orange County Register; Janet Eastman, editor of Orange Coast magazine, and Tom Tait, editor of the Daily Pilot.

As the second-graders ate boxed lunches outdoors in the sculpture garden among works by Gunther Forg, the judges made their choices.

Christie Colbert, 7, took the top prize: Her effort will adorn the "Free Tuesday" poster, and she gets a free family pass to Disneyland.

Jeffrey Torre placed second and Farah-Lee Yudelman came in third. Six students received honorable mention.

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