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Dear Reader: Happy Halloween!

by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three

Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness,” said Anni Albers, a German-born American textile artist and printmaker. 


Art can stir up a range of emotions from happiness to contemplation to frustration to love. I appreciate art and the artists who can actually create beautiful masterpieces. My mother taught me to love art. She made sure that we, as a family, visited all the famous paintings by the greats like Michelangelo, DaVinci, Warhol, Picasso, and Rembrandt. We took the time to not only look at the art, but to learn about the artists behind the paintings. 


My older sister is an exceptional artist. She has the talent to create beauty in not only paintings but with stained glass and wood carvings. I, on the other hand, can barely draw a stick figure. When my kids were younger, I put them in all kinds of art classes to see if they inherited the “art” gene. My daughter loved to draw what I called “fashionistas” – they were tall, majestic women with the most creative long, flowing dresses. My boys loved to draw helicopters and cars. It’s funny how, even as little children, they ended up drawing what interested them in their personal lives. 


Art is not only beautiful, but it really can be a form of a. When we first started our quarantine, the main activity we did as a family was chalk art on our sidewalks using the hashtag #chalkyourwalk. I saw this trend go viral as so many people turned to art as a form of self-expression and catharsis. Using our creative juices somehow seemed to make our situation easier to handle. 


One of my favorite fundraising events each year is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County’s (BGCKC) Farm to Table(aux), where they pick an artist and create a magical night around the art. In the past, they’ve channeled Andy Warhol and Van Gogh, among others, and this year they are featuring Norman Rockwell, America’s Illustrator, virtually via live stream on Friday, October 9.

To register for free, visit www.event.gives/farmtotableauxbako between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9.

The Club members get in on the action and sell their paintings, perform their dances, and sing their songs. It’s such a fun night of mingling and enjoying friends and delicious food, all while supporting a great cause. This year is no exception despite the pandemic. Farm to Table(aux) is going virtual with all the uniqueness and artistic representation making the cut. Thanks to Zane Smith, executive director of BGCKC, you can check out the article, “Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County’s 5th Annual Farm to Table(aux) Goes Virtual: Featuring Norman Rockwell, America’s Illustrator,” on page 10. 


Zane’s beautiful and talented daughter, Charlotte Smith, graces KCFM’s cover this month in tableau vivant (living painting) style as Rosie the Riveter, 1943, from Rockwell’s famous cover illustration on The Saturday Evening Post magazine. 


Getting involved with fundraisers and supporting local nonprofits always make for great community connections. In the article, “11 Ways to Connect With Community This Autumn,” you can find other ways to foster local relationships during these challenging times. Some of the unique ideas include virtual dinner parties, being a pen pal, and socially distancing scavenger hunts. To check out all 11 ideas, turn to page 12.


For your monthly dose of humor, turn to Julie Willis’s Humor at Home article, “Dealing with Nightmares: It's Always a Dinosaur,” on page 17. She writes about how movies can really affect your dreams and wake you up in a panic at 2:30 a.m. Her advice: Don’t watch movies that you don’t want to dream about. 


October is my favorite canvas as I watch the leaves change and the air cools! And, even though a lot of our lives are different right now, there is so much we can still celebrate. We can take the time to express our creativity and appreciate all the art around us! It’s also amazing to see how well we are all adapting to a more virtual world. Trick or treating might look different this year, too, but I have a feeling we will figure out some way to celebrate safely! Happy Halloween! 

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