Giving Back with Music for the City- Art Classes..

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Austin Artists Give Back // Ty Clark

For the last several Monday afternoons, I’ve had the pleasure of watching some of my favorite Austin artists give back to the community that makes them great.  Music For The City is partnering with a CISAustin after-school program on the Eastside to bring the arts to some kids who might not otherwise get to experience what Austin does best.

Last week I told you about the beat-boxing/moon-walking/folk-singing Miranda Dodson’s encounter with these kids.  Now it’s time to talk abstract art.  You see, Music For The City is not just a collection of local musicians…it’s a movement of ARTISTS of any medium.  So I asked local painter/designer/entrepreneur Ty Clark (a.k.a. SAMO4PREZ) to come and share his time and unique talent with the kids.  Ty arrived at the door with six huge paintings…a dozen jaws immediately dropped, followed by “whooooa” and “cooool” and “what is thaaaat?!?!?”  After he set up his paintings, Ty led an interactive and enthusiastic discussion about abstract vs. realist art, color, emotion, technique, etc.  I couldn’t believe the responses that these kids were coming up with…I wished I had pen and paper, ‘cause I was gettin’ schooled.  Ty asked each child which painting was their favorite and why…”how does that painting make you feel?”  It was incredible to witness the kids making the connection between art and emotion…those paintings were a creative outpouring of the artist’s emotions.

After this unexpectedly deep exchange, Ty had all the kids sit down with paper and crayons and express themselves.  The results were rather impressive.  I didn’t notice any artistic prodigies, but I did see a room full of kids laughing and having fun.  I did see a room full of kids applying what they had just learned, and perhaps expressing themselves in a brand new way.  I saw eyes full of LIGHT and smiles full of HOPE.  I saw an artist who cares and caught a glimpse of a better Austin.

See Tywork at

By the way, in addition to being a great artist, Ty Clark runs a humanitarian fashion company called Veritas.  Check it out online at

until next time…

Lamar Stockton