Room 13 Marjorie

Resident Artist(s): Jessica Edelstein
Main Studio Artform: Visual Arts


featured image for Room 13 Marjorie

Room 13 Marjorie opened on 7 January  2010, on the front lawn of a house on Marjorie Avenue in South Bay, Southern California.

At their daughter’s urging, and alarmed by the fact that there was nothing in the California school budget for the arts, Jessica and Andrew Edelstein decided it was time to formalise the gathering of young minds and hands in their own community.
They set up an open studio on their front lawn, inviting anyone from the neighbourhood to join them to make art.
The result is a neighbourhood collective of imaginative and energetic young people between four and ten years old, and the adults who start off by bringing them, but end up basking in their creative energy. The adult artists put out materials, show them how to use the tools and cameras, but it is the kids who decide what they want to explore.
The artists work with anything that comes to hand – clay, plaster, aluminium foil, yarn, wood circles, chalk, watercolours, acrylics, ink, leaves, sticks, cut-up magazines for collages – and talk a lot about different kinds of art and artists.

In their own words:

“Room 13 Marjorie is open to artists aged between four and ten, and any adult who wants to make art with us. We collect our art supplies wherever we can find them and we are really happy when we get donations from our school or neighbourhood companies. We had a really cool photography day and we walked around our neighbourhood seeing it from a worm’s eye view, a bird’s eye view, but mostly we just used the kid’s eye view. We really like how our photographs turned out!” Abby (age 6)

“It is amazing to see the brightness in the eyes of someone, no matter the age, when a light goes on inside them — when they learn they can get more colours if they just mix them; when they feel the coolness of clay; the smell of a new blank canvas for the first time. When they realise that they can have ideas that can be explored beyond a one-hour class, and when they understand the power they have when they figure out that they can pick up anything in the studio and turn it into art of their own.” Jessica Edelstein, Artist in Residence

At a glance