Sketch sessions focus on their own homes
Izzy Savage recalls how she became involved with Kids Draw Architecture, the award-winning program developed in 1990 by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to teach young people about the art, complexity and importance of architecture.
“While I was an upper elementary school kid, I was on a walk with my family at Lake Los Carneros when we turned the corner where you start to see the Stow House. Out in front of the house’s porch steps, I saw kids drawing and the KDA booth. I remember it was close to the event wrapping up, but I was very excited and settled on the lawn with the provided paper and pencil and began to draw. My drawing did not make it into the calendar, but I have warm memories of drawing and being surrounded by other kids drawing in a beautiful environment.”
Four years ago, Ms. Savage became a member of the KDA committee that runs the program which was created by Cassandra Ensberg, a local architect.
“I joined the committee as a way to give back to the community and get young people excited about architecture,” said Ms. Savage, who attended the Otis College of Art and Design and graduated class valedictorian from its architecture/landscape/interiors program.
Currently, she is a job captain at 19six Architects and is in progress for taking the Architecture Registration Exam to become an architect.
“Here I am working on the Solvang Festival Theater and Lompoc Theatre renovations. I love that I am at an office where I can work on projects that give back to the community,” said Ms. Savage.
She is equally excited about her work with KDA, explaining that typically the sketch sessions are held twice a year at selected locations such as the Santa Barbara Mission, Santa Barbara County Courthouse and the Lobero and Arlington theatres.
“We bring local architects to draw with the participants, sharing their drawing techniques and knowledge of the buildings. After both sessions, the kids’ drawings are compiled, and a selection is made by the committee to form the Kids Draw Architecture Calendar for the following year. Around the holidays, we have a gallery exhibition and party at the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. It is wonderful to see the young artists’ faces light up as they come in and see their work professionally displayed,” said Ms. Savage.
This year, sketch sessions were planned at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Montecito Union School.
Because of the pandemic, however, the KDA committee opted to have the children draw their own homes.
“We had some lovely locations planned for this year, but due to not being able to gather in person, our committee created a prompt that allowed kids to see the architecture in their immediate surroundings at home. We reached out for participation through previous participants, the schools and social media. The response was fantastic. We received a large number of drawings that allowed us to see through the perspective of a kid of their home. There were so many beautiful drawings — the detail of the older kids and simple graphic quality of the youngest drawers,” said Ms. Savage.
“Many KDA participants return year after year, and once they reach high school, some come to sketch or to help in other ways and can earn community service credits. Fantastically, some participants, like myself, have gone on to study and work in architecture, engineering, planning and other related fields.”
For more information, call 805-965-6307 or visit www.afsb.org.