YAC is a nonprofit, after school art studio and mentorship program for high school and college artists - brilliant and struggling, confident and fringe, multi-ethnic, multi- tempered, and over 30% financially challenged. They learn art, job, and life skills, and gain a healthy dose of self-esteem and gratitude along the way. YACsters learn to believe in themselves, take creative risk, and give back. 100% graduate from high school. 95% of YACsters go on to university, college, and art college - many on scholarships. 2006 Champion of the Arts, Non-Profit

Changing Lives For 20 Years

YAC Mentors

Opening Reception

Saturday, Feb. 15   5:00-7:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: Sat. Feb. 15 - March 16 2020

Open Ground Studios is honored to spotlight the artistic talents of the amazing, generous, and award-winning Youth Arts Collective Mentors. This year marks YAC’s  20th anniversary when Marcia Perry and Meg Biddle opened their hearts and studios to mentor young artists through art. Over the past two decades, YAC has grown their mentorship staff to include local professional artists, entrepreneurs and even adult YAC alumni. YAC mentors share more than their artistic expertise: they also teach life, job, and emotional skills. These artist mentors have deeply touched the lives of over 900 young artists and their families in ways that reach far beyond high school and college. It’s been life changing, sometime life-saving. YAC’s motto “Do art. Be kind.” guides their mentoring: Their mission is to inspire creativity, kindness, and confidence in our youth through artistic expression and mutual respect. OGS is proud to shine light on the art and power of these creative community leaders.


Diana Corvelle is a figurative artist born and raised in New York.  She received her MFA in Drawing from the New York Academy of Art and her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Her public works include large scale and commemorative projects at South Nassau Community Hospital and the Rockville Centre Public Library.  She has shown in exhibitions across the country and internationally, including her 2019 solo exhibition, Yes All Women, at Dacia Gallery in Manhattan.  Diana currently lives and works in the Bay Area. 

Denese Sanders is a visual artist, educator and the founder of Open Ground Studios. Sanders has curated over 40 exhibitions for OGS and has been a guest juror for various organizations nation-wide. She is an arts education and program design consultant, a community builder, and mentor to emerging artists. Denese holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a member of the California Society of Printmakers.

Melissa Smedley is a visual and performance artist, writer and educator currently based in Salinas, California.  Her work has been sought both nationally and internationally at venues such as The California Center for the Arts, The Center for Art and Migration Politics in Denmark, the Cleveland Institute of Art, Monterey Youth Film Festival, and The Atheneum in La Jolla, California.

Contact Open Ground Studios

1230 Fremont Blvd. Seaside, CA 93955

831.204.8578 | Email Us

Gallery Hours During Exhibits

Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 - 4:00

and by appointment 


Thank you!

Open Ground Studios' programs and facilities would not be possible without the on-going, generous support of our community, volunteers, members and artists.

Additional support is provided by the Arts Council for Monterey County and our Fiscal Sponsor, Fractured Atlas. Thank you!!

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