Ask any elementary art teacher to describe how children draw or paint and chances are the teacher will explain how children’s art evolves over time, depending on their age. But did you know that your child’s art could be telling you something other than the obvious? Henri Matisse once said, “I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.” Soheyla Rashidyan and Mike Korman are hoping a Contemporary Child Art Museum in Plano could help parents and educators understand what children’s art might be trying to tell them.
Soheyla Rashidyan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from the Art University of Tehran years ago. While working on her thesis, she researched illustrators of children’s books and was enraptured with what “children see and feel when they view these illustrations and what inspires them to create their own art,” she said. After spending several years in the culturally and artistically rich country of the Netherlands, Soheyla now lives in North Texas and is working with Mike Korman, a Plano resident, to gain financial support for the Contemporary Child Art Museum to be installed in the Downtown Plano Arts District.
Mike, a Dallas native, is no stranger to taking the lead and helping make things happen. Having helmed three companies of his own and volunteered for numerous nonprofit organizations, Mike is also the former vice president of the Plano Art Association (PAA), with Soheyla being its former president.
Together they have been instrumental in bringing public art to Plano. They worked side-by-side on the Downtown Plano Mural Project, as well as partnering with the Historic Downtown Plano Association to bring art-related events to the neighborhood.
After reaching their term limits with PAA they are turning their focus back to Soheyla’s brain child of creating a space for both permanent and limited engagement art that is made by and for children. Their hope is to create a space where art made by youth of all ages can inspire other children, as well as teach adults more about the meanings behind the art.
Soheyla and Mike have created a 501(c)3 organization to support their fundraising efforts. The two have been in talks regarding several options for a physical location within a stone’s throw from the historic downtown. After all, what better location for an art museum than an arts district? Plans for the Contemporary Child Art Museum include a sculpture garden, restaurant and event space. The facility would be a center for research on youth art, would offer informational courses for parents and would be designed to attract artists and educators to hold workshops and seminars.
This team needs Plano’s support to bring this vision to life. The museum would be another feather in our city’s tourism cap and could provide many opportunities for talented young artists to grow. There are varying levels of sponsorship for founding patrons, and information can be found on the museum’s website.Contemporary Child Art Museum >