On the evening of January 25, 2023, six TAG artists guided over one hundred elementary students and their families in creating original “Scratch Art” at the PACE Family Art Night at Wood Elementary School. PACE is Tempe Elementary School’s  program for gifted students from kindergarten through fifth grade.  The overall theme for PACE’s 2022-23 academic year is ART!  The event was for students and their parents to see work that has been done, make art together, connect with local artists, and see how art relates to other topics.

Janet with students
TAG volunteer Janet Fagan works with PACE students
Each child visiting TAG’s section of the cafeteria received a small scratchpad that contained 10 black pages.  Using a wood stylus, they scratched off the black surface to reveal a multicolored background that emphasized the lines or shapes that had been etched off. Finished work became frame-ready by signing it, then matting it on a 5×7” piece of colored foamboard.  Additionally, the back of each mat featured an “Original Art brought to you by Tempe Artists Guild” label plus a personalized note from the TAG volunteer to the young artist. The project was a quick way to create a satisfying piece of art, as evidenced by colorful designs and multitude of smiles.

TAG provided stencils as a starting point for the etchings.

Finished work was matted on foamboard

Finished work was matted on foam board.


TAG volunteer Margi Hensch wrote a message to one of her young artists. Note the “Original Art brought to you by TAG” label.


A particularly colorful and detailed etching!

The organizer of the event and director of Gifted Education, Lori McClellan, was so happy that she wants TAG to do another art project with PACE students.

This was not the first time TAG supported the Tempe Elementary Schools PACE program.   Back in 2019, TAG donated $500 to the PACE program to purchase Rubik Cubes to create “Rubik Cube Art.”  To thank us, PACE teacher Amy Evans brought her students and their families to a TAG meeting to show us their skills in person.  Here are a few photos from that memorable 2019 gathering.


Marie Provine and student at a TAG meeting in 2019.


TAG artists watched as students created this design using Rubik Cubes during a TAG meeting. VERY impressive!

TAG’s investment continued benefitting students years later.  Amy Evans commented, “The very cubes that TAG helped to purchase were on display in the gymnasium on Family Art Night!  We had two mosaics.  In the included photo, you can see how they looked when prepared in the classroom before the 2023 event.”

in classroom

Rubik Cube art continues in 2023.

This outreach event is evidence that TAG is fulfilling our mission to do community outreach with art.  Organized by Sue Norton-Scott, the PACE Family Art Night project volunteers were Debbie Ericksen, Doralee Ewing, Janet Fagan, Margi Hensch, and Sandi Lunsford.   Debbie Ericksen commented, “What a fun night! Thanks for organizing everything so well. I’m glad we’re invited back.”
PACE teacher Amy Evans says, “I greatly appreciate your on-going support of our Tempe students.  Please send my gratitude to and artists like you are an asset to our community. I look forward to hopefully working with you more in the future.”