At the March 22nd special City Council presentation, Councilman Stephen R. Shelley drew attention to a new group of talented artists in Homestead — the three- and four-year-old students at Le Jardin Early Learning Academy.
“Tonight, we have our first Junior Artist in the Spotlight,” announced Councilman Shelley, noting that the Artist in the Spotlight program, which is in its sixth year, focuses on local artists, enables them to display their work and present it to the community in an artful location, like the Seminole Theatre. He explained the program was being expanded to include community youth.
Councilman Shelley continued, “We’ve done [this] in conjunction with Vice Mayor Fairclough and the Education Committee in hopes that we can get local schools and other organizations and youth, in general, excited about art and excited about displaying their work in a public forum and having a night to present [their work], and, hopefully, to inspire them to continue to follow that passion.”
“So our very first Junior Artist in the Spotlight group is the Le Jarden kids. They put together a fantastic piece of artwork,” he said, adding that a Gallery Night showcasing their work was scheduled at the Seminole Theatre on April 3, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Councilman Shelley invited Principal Eddie Berrones to join him to talk about the program at Le Jardin, pointing to three examples of some of the work produced by the children at the front of the Council Chambers.
Berrones noted, “What you see here is art that our children have produced as part of our curriculum.” He explained that the children produce renditions of artists’ work they’ve studied, which is then exhibited at Art and Jazz Night, Le Jardin’s annual event.
“The kids really enjoy seeing their artwork and so do the parents,” he said, adding, “The work they do is amazing.”
“Councilman [Shelley], you’ve been so gracious to bring us to the Seminole Theatre on April 3 and you’re going to see a lot more of their work,” Berrones said, and then introduced three Le Jardin artists: Gerson Perez, Fernanda Vasquez and Jodania Gercilus, who came up with their parents and stood by their artwork, displayed on easels that were taller than the children themselves. Each child received a special certificate of recognition, signed by Mayor Porter and Council members, thanking them for their “creative contribution to the City of Homestead” and their “excellent artistic talent.”
Le Jardin students whose work is on display at the Seminole Theatre include: Aurora Reyes, Vicktor Ferret, Keila Lopez, Lucia Salto, Jayren Lujano, Joyce Jimenez, Annie Lopez, Marylin Diaz Gomez, Mike Gamino, Ezanie Clemont, Bryan Mairena, Perla Leon, Asnel Seus, Samantha Fernandez, Axel Garcia, Alani Santos, Danny Lopez, Justin Diaz, Joselyn Jimenez, Enry Mendez, Marcos Vasquez, Cameron Rodriguez, Joselyn Bravo, Jodania Gercilus, Allan San Juan, Javier Barreto, Liv Ramos, Nemias Morales, Elena Moncada, Edwyn Sanchez, Andy Godinez and Jackeline Morales
Le Jardin School is part of the Le Jardin Community Center, Inc., a nonprofit agency founded in 1987, which serves children and families in southern Miami-Dade County. Le Jardin provides high quality educational, recreational and cultural activities and comprehensive services in a safe, caring and nurturing environment.