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 Students Show Artistic Side at Bayside School

​Students at Bayside Community School get to be part of Barrio Logan’s thriving art scene thanks to a partnership with Qualcomm and the San Diego Museum of Art.

For nearly 10 years, the technology company has paid for the program, which brings an artist from the museum to the school once a week for 10 weeks during the school year. Students also get regular art classes throughout the year.

The two-hour lessons include a variety of styles and media, including painting, sculpture and drawing. Much of the work adorns the walls of the small campus.

“I think it’s really good for self-confidence, because they get a chance to express themselves and see their artwork up,” said Angela Gigliotti, one of three teachers at the school. “They may have never seen themselves as artists before, but we have a lot of creative students.”

The school is in Barrio Logan, an area that has recently seen a surge in artists and galleries. It serves student who have been referred from probation, social services or one of the county's 42 school districts.

Other Juvenile Court and Community Schools have also started offering the arts lessons as part of the Qualcomm grant.

“Doing the art projects together, it gives them a sense of community,” Gigliotti said.

Rigo, a student at Bayside, said he used to like to doodle in class, but now that he has been taking the lessons for a while, he knows much more about shading and shapes as well as different artistic media. The lessons have allowed him to be more creative and create better works of art, he said.

“It feels good when you know you made something good,” he said.

Before she started the art classes, Stephanie said she didn’t know she had any artistic talent.

“I didn’t know I could do art,” she said,” but when I did, it was actually pretty good.”

The art lesson and a variety of elective classes help keep students engaged and boost attendance. Bayside also has yoga classes, dance lessons, a book club and a basketball team to help keep students engaged and encourage attendance.

“We’re trying to bring the learning to life,” said Rochelle Parsons, another teacher at the school. “It’s the hook that gets them to come to school.”

The extra opportunities also helps build a sense of community at the school, said Cheryl Lynch, another teacher there.

“The kids love it,” she said. “It gives them a real connection to our school.”