‘Art at Play’ helps to beautify the Belmont community


Ailee Lim

5-year-old Zachary Finlay paints an orange and green fish for the playground.

Ailee Lim, Staff Writer

A scene of children playing a the playground would not be complete without the bright colors of the play structure. In an effort to help add more color to playgrounds, Art at Play is coming to help make the Belameda Park brighter.

Art at Play is dedicated to helping beautify Belmont by adding art around the community. The Playground Gallery Project is an ongoing mission to enhance the Belameda Park by adding art to its facilities. There will be a collection of painted fish and butterflies, along with two large signs that say “Art at Play” on them when the project is finished.

“The idea is to take the playground and make it more beautiful by using the artistic talents of people who play there,” said Phil Evans, one of the organizers of Art at Play.

The fish and butterflies were painted in two sessions. The first session was painted by mostly young children and the second with mostly teens from the VOICES program. Both sessions took place at the Belmont Library.

VOICES is a program started by the Belmont Parks and Recreation. They are teens from Belmont and San Carlos that help out all across the Bay Area by volunteering.

People from other age groups came to help as well.

Brigitte Shearer, the new director for the Parks and Recreation Commission of Belmont, made a point to state the importance of art for the community.

“Art is important because it activates a part of the brain that you don’t always get to utilize and [that] helps to boost your creativity, which can help you with other things,” Shearer said.

Shearer is in full support for Art at Play because she believes it will give the community something to smile at when they are at the park.

“This is an opportunity for artists of all ages to show their skills and continue to promote art as a vital part,” Shearer said. “Art helps connect people and a good thing about art is that there’s no wring answer. It’s nice to have art as a positive experience for everybody,” said Shearer.

Along with Art at Play, Shearer is also helping to enact the Utility Box Art Program. When it is completed, it will showcase eight utility boxes all around Belmont, which will be painted by various artists. She thinks these programs will benefit the community in a unique way and to motivate others.

“Who knows, maybe seeing all this art around will inspire someone to do something great someday,” Shearer said.