The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego is celebrating a year of culture in its creative programming in 2020. Throughout the year, the Museum will be showcasing the richness of humanity by connecting broadly with audiences representing different ways of life.
One of the highlights will be this year’s artist-in-residence, Paola Villaseñor (known as PANCA). The Museum’s Artist Residency program brings an artist, the Museum and the community together to create a new immersive art installation or studio space at the Museum. One artist is commissioned each year, who leads workshops and engages with families at multiple community centers through the Mass Creativity program. The artist is inspired by the community and their ideas become part of the process of creating the art installation. The overall goals of the residency include creating experiences that meet the needs of both the Museum’s current and underserved visitors while listening to the community partners to devise new ways to reach more San Diego families.
“Since its beginning in 2013, Mass Creativity has featured 10 unique artists and partnered with 17 diverse community organizations,” Tomoko Kuta, Deputy Museum Director shared with GB Magazine. “We have reached over 15,000 people and our work has resulted in several one-of-a-kind, immersive art installations.”
PANCA lives and works in Tijuana. She is an international artist known for her playful street art, which has appeared everywhere from walls in Mexico City to the galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. PANCA remembers visiting the Museum as a child and knows firsthand the impact of being introduced to art at a young age.
“When I was 7 or 8 my best friend’s mom took me to the Museum. I remember the truck. This was the first opportunity where I actually got to paint something on a large scale,” PANCA recalls. Her visit to the Museum left a big impression on her and has inspired her artwork today. Her mural SMILE currently adorns the Museum’s 48-foot-long entry bridge, welcoming visitors with bright colors and playful smiles.
PANCA’s work in the community will explore color and shape, thrilling experiences and the influence of light. In collaboration with The New Children’s Museum, she has created Pop-Up Play with PANCA for the free workshops, to test her ideas for the 1,200-square-foot immersive installation opening at the Museum this fall. Workshop participants will interact with PANCA’s artwork through performance and play and help to create sculptural prototypes for the installation.
The program culminates in the 8th Annual Mass Creativity Day, a free, all-day celebration of art and community at the Museum and adjacent park on Saturday, June 27th.
Funding for Mass Creativity is provided in part by U.S. Bank, Cox Communications, Southwest Airlines, The Gossard Family, the City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista Cultural Arts Commission, the County of San Diego, Institute of Museum and Library Services and First 5 San Diego.