Dogs on skateboards

Local kids get creative with the arts

'Chubby' Aksel Baldwin ‘CHUBBY’ The porcine stylings of artist Aksel Baldwin delight young and old alike. Photo: Debra Eskinazi
Look just about anywhere in the South Valley and everyone has some sort of display for the arts. Rarely though do we pay tribute to children in the arts.
Running through the end of March, the dental offices of Dr. Jernell Escobar will be holding an exhibit for siblings Aksel and Annika Baldwin.
Escobar maintains a rotating art exhibit, which she coordinates with Valle del Sur Art Guild. Recently, she decided to showcase her own childrens’ art.
Aksel, 6, and Annika, 9, have each been painting with acrylics for several years.
“It’s always difficult to choose art for your home,” says Escobar. “So, I just figured adding their priceless art into our home was perfect.”
People don’t always find a trip to the dentist soothing, but Escobar says that the childrens’ art had made a difference.
“Sometimes the art we have is so eclectic and loud and with the kids [art] it’s sort of soothing and cheerful and lessens their anxiety,” says Escobar.
Both children have been taking private classes with Sheryl Cathers at Dabble Art Center in Gilroy.
“They’re great artists they’re both really excited about things,” says Cathers. “They come in with ideas and I just help them along the way.”
Escobar who has been buying the kids canvases since they were little says, “Art and music is something that is really important and I just wanted my kids to continue that for the rest of their life.”
“Well they are always full of energy they are real positive kids really sweet eager to learn they are ideal students they come in enthusiastic,” says Cathers.
Each child has a different style. Aksel’s latest focus has been on pigs and was inspired by a stuffed animal he found at a local health food store. He brought the pig to dabble and Cathers helped him to get started. “I just like painting,” says Aksel. “All I like are pigs.”
Aksel’s pigs are one-of-a-kind. His paintings would inspire adults to paint if not to buy one of his pieces.

'Weiner Dog' Annika Baldwin

CARTOON INSPIRED Annika Baldwin takes her art to new levels, creating whimsical creatures from pictures of wild and domestic animals.

Big sister Annika has inspired other children to pursue art and encourage people to paint when the mood strikes. “If I’m super happy about something,” says Annika. “I just go and draw a happy picture of an animal.”
Annika takes animals and turns them into whimsical cartoons, as evident with her wiener dog riding a skateboard. The dog—complete with accentuated lashes—rides on a sidewalk past a colorful green grassy background.
“I like to paint stuff colorfully,” says Annika. “Like if there’s a black and white panda, I paint a blue and purple and pink panda. I just like stuff really different.”

Debra Eskinazi
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About Debra Eskinazi
Debra Eskinazi is the editor of South Valley magazine.