Home School Family Spotlight: Artist, Activist & Entrepreneur Brings Life to Her Community
Taylerann G.’s art takes many forms. Sometimes, it’s drawing. Sometimes, it’s painting. Other times, it’s sculpting with clay, making her own dollhouses or sewing clothes for her Barbies. Every time, it’s where Taylerann truly shines.
Art began as a form of therapy for Taylerann, who has autism. Since she was two years old, Taylerannhas loved to scribble, finger paint and play with clay, all things that her aunt, Bernadette W., used to develop Taylerann’s fine motor skills. When it finally came time to put her into school, Bernadette enrolled Taylerann in our Home School Academy for the opportunity to receive a personalized education.
“We chose home schooling to be able to best support our childrens’ individual educational needs and to be able to learn as a family,” shares Bernadette, who has another student in the Home School Academy. “I was mostly excited for the opportunity to have more options to best support Taylerann’s specific educational needs and her love of art.”
With support from her credentialed teacher, Jennifer Buck, Taylerann has found incredible success in her school work and in her artwork.
“We have built an amazing rapport with Mrs. Buck,” says Bernadette. “She is a great support inadvocating and encouraging Taylerann’s art exploration projects, helping us find places to attend art enrichment classes and finding amazing vendors here in Sacramento for Taylerann to use her stipends.”
Christmas in August
Taylerann often begins her day with activities that support and encourage her creativity, like making her art or listening to her favorite music, opera. Then, she completes her daily school work, and soon after, goes straight back to her art. This flexibility has encouraged her creative exploration and made school something manageable for Taylerann.
One of her favorite projects is using cardboard boxes to construct her own dollhouses, which she insists on building as opposed to asking her family to purchase.
“Taylerann often uses leftover boxes from what we as a proud home school family call a ‘Christmas in August’ due to the fact that all of our curriculum orders often come in, leaving us with many empty cardboard boxes!” says Bernadette. “Taylerann is in her element using these boxes to create dollhouses with fully detailed bathrooms, libraries, play rooms and kitchens! She insists on us saving our money, because she is an artist and can make her own!”
“Black Girl Magic”
Taylerann’s art often depicts what she likes to call “black girl magic,” things such as representations of black hairstyles and culture. Recently, Taylerann was depicted as Sojourner Truth in Children of the Village, a mural dedicated to the children of South Sacramento. Taylerann had previously won a Black Historical Figure costume contest, where she had dressed up as Truth, and her photo served as the inspiration for the mural artwork.
“We are a family who supports our children embracing their African ancestral and cultural roots,” says Bernadette. “Taylerann is supported and encouraged by our artist community members, and you will see that in the pictures that created the mural.”
The Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum in Sacramento helps support Taylerann and her family, even setting up a Youth Entrepreneur Booth for Taylerann in their neighborhood. There, she is able to showcase her business, Tay Tay’s Treasures & Trinkets, and participate in Youth Entrepreneur Days.
Taylerann is passionate about her community, and when she’s not creating art, she’s trying to make the lives of those around her better. At the unveiling of the Children of the Village mural, you would have found her in the corner creating a Clean Water Advocacy Project drawing. She recycles, picks up litter in her neighborhood and discusses the concerns of pollution and keeping the Earth and oceans clean. She makes her Tay Tay’s Treasures & Trinkets products affordable to ensure her cousins and friends can purchase her creations, and she dreams of one day opening up an orphanage and pet rescue with her earnings.
The home school program at Visions allows Taylerann to explore and express herself, while also ensuring she stays on track with her education. With guidance from her teacher, family and community, Taylerann will undoubtedly continue to bring beauty into this world through her art and her heart.