It’s not every day that children get one-on-one play time with an internationally renowned artist. But on Monday, February 12th the children who are part of the Collier Child Care Resources (CCCR) development program, A Step Up at Golden Gate High School, enjoyed a visit from Master Artist Carmelo Blandino.
Carmelo quickly oriented the children – who were aged two to five – to the role they would play in the overall project, and encouraged them to be as free with their self-expression on the canvas as they’d like, and he didn’t hold back from participating himself. With gentle patience, he guided the children to explore their creativity by introducing color and fun to the creation process – and the results showed! Brushes and hands were both used as instruments to convert the stark white canvas into a dynamic symphony of color, which Carmelo will later complete in a space provided by the Thomas Riley Studio while he’s in town for a commission. Once completed, both canvases will be made available during the live auction portion of CCCR’s premiere fundraising event, Big Impressions by Little Artists®.
“The reason why I enjoy working with kids is because I’m really a child at heart,” Carmelo explains, “and all of my work is about returning back to our childhood, and being young and playful, so this really is an awesome opportunity to be able to work with the kids. You just get so much energy and beauty out of them… it’s brilliant, and it’s very exciting.”
Big Impressions by Little Artists® (BIBLA) is a premiere benefit luncheon and art auction hosted by Collier Child Care Resources, Inc. each year. With a focus on raising funds for the tuition assistance program that offers scholarships to underprivileged families who are in need of high-quality early education resources, BIBLA aspires to bridge the gap between children and education, as well as between the community and professional artists. The event features four artists that include Mally Khorasantchi as well as Carmelo Blandino, Juan Diaz and Marcus Zotter, each of whom will create a piece with the children at the CCCR Development Centers that will then be auctioned during the event. Dozens of other artists, photographers and business owners have also contributed pieces for the silent auction portion of the event in an effort to help CCCR reach their $100,000 fundraising goal. NBC2 News Morning Anchor Rachel Pierce will serve as guest emcee, while Rick Gallo will host the auction. The overall theme of the event serves to support the mission of CCCR and the Reggio Emilia philosophy of learning that the child development centers have adopted, which places a strong emphasis on authentic art experiences and the creative process.
Event details: Friday, March 9th, 2018, 11:00am – 1:30pm at the Hilton Naples. Tickets are $75 per person and available for purchase online at www.collierchildcare.org.
In 2017, through the efforts of CCCR’s many campaigns and supporters, the organization was able to:
- Open two new Child Development Centers – Little Wonders and Child’s Path.
- Open two new toddler classrooms for children ages 1-2 to meet the urgent local need.
- Provide partial tuition assistance for 225 economically disadvantaged children.
- Supply them with approximately 34,000 healthy meals and snacks.
- Celebrate the graduation of 68 children from our VPK classrooms.
About Carmelo Blandino
Born to Sicilian parents in Tübingen, Germany, and with a childhood spent in the cities of Montreal and Modica, Sicily, Carmelo Blandino’s life journey has spanned continents and oceans. It has now brought him to the US, where he has studios and residences in both Connecticut and Wisconsin. Blandino grows his inspirational vocabulary by taking the essentialness of Home to each and every place he has made his bed, wherever he has set up easel and wielded paintbrush. Carmelo’s paintings have been featured in galleries in NYC, Palm Beach and Naples, in Carmel, Indiana, Atlanta and in Milwaukee, as well as in Stockholm, Toronto and Montreal. His works have been acquired by the Brenau Museum in Gainseville Georgia and exhibited at the Baker Museum in Naples. With an avid following of not only collectors but also student artists, Blandino pays forward his gifts as teacher and guide, conducting workshops in drawing and painting. In homage to his forefathers and in service to a deeply held personal mantra, Carmelo Blandino endeavors as artist to speak through his work – heart to hand, then to the eye, then on into the heart of the beholder. Full bio available at www.carmeloblandino.com.