4-H and visual arts:  Illustrating and designing a career

With caring adults as 4-H volunteer leaders, 4-H offers youth the opportunity to participate in visual arts projects that can lead to careers.

Attention all youth and adults interested in the visual arts! Are you interested in drawing, painting, putting together all types of crafts using a variety of materials, taking pictures or woodworking? Have you ever realized that 4-H is a youth development program that has a place for youth to display their visual art skills? Visual arts is a project area in 4-H! 4-H is also a youth development program for caring adults to mentor and guide youth as 4-H volunteer leaders. According to Michigan State University Extension, caring adults can play a role by teaching youth to help them learn or improve their skills in visual arts. For Michigan 4-H Youth Development, visual arts consists of crafts, fine arts, photography and woodworking, however youth can participate in any other type of visual arts project (like using computers) as long there is a 4-H volunteer leader to coordinate, facilitate or teach the youth in that project area.

Did you know that participating in the 4-H visual arts project can lead to different careers relating to visual arts? Some careers related to visual arts are art directors, craft and fine artists, fashion designers, floral designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, interior designers and multimedia artists and animators. Some of these careers require a postsecondary or college degree and some just require a high school diploma or equivalent.

How can youth build skills in visual arts? Through 4-H, youth participating in visual arts projects can organize and participate in programs that serve the community by teaching younger youth how to draw, make crafts, take pictures, create objects or use the computer for art and design programs. A good way to learn is to teach. As another community service project, youth can get together and coordinate an art fair for other youth and display their projects to the community. Youth can also take the time to create art projects and donate the project to a local community center, day care center or nursing home.

Youth who desire a career in or relating to visual arts can participate in 4-H and receive the teaching from a caring adult and practice their skills at 4-H meetings, 4-H events and through community service. Since 4-H projects can open up many possibilities that lead to a career, it can be rewarding as a 4-H volunteer leader to contribute to the success of a 4-H member’s future vocation. Participating in 4-H visual arts projects can be beneficial for both youth and adults.

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