As an actress, director, and painter, art is something very close to Lucy Liu‘s heart.
That’s why the Elementary star has partnered up with LIFEWTR, the premium bottled water company, to #BringArtBacktoSchools and drive conversation around the importance of letting kids express their creativity through art in the classroom.
“If you look at the statistics, 80 percent of schools have cut art programs,” Lucy, 49, told Celebuzz!after recently visiting a New York City public school to speak with schoolchildren about art. “For me, [art] was really the outlet I had growing up because I didn’t have that at home personally.”
Starting in high school, the actress began creating collages by ripping pictures out of magazine. From there, she “wanted to have a little more control” and took up photography, using her own photos for her pieces before experimenting with different mediums like paint, clay, wood, and silkscreen. In 1993, Lucy first exhibited her art under the pseudonym Yu Ling, which is her Chinese name in pinyin.
For the Charlie’s Angels alum, having access to art at a young age helped her developed both as an artist and a human being.
“It’s a form of expression,” she explained. “Art to me is essential for kids because — especially when they’re younger — they don’t always have the words to express themselves. Art is a really wonderful way to engage them and talk to them.”
Now a mom to 2-year-old Rockwell, who just started preschool last September, having access to art is “crucial” for her family, especially when it comes to bonding.
“I do think art is really, really important,” she said. “I think it’s vital for children because they’re at a developmental stage and they’re expressing themselves through color and form. If they don’t have that, they don’t have the ‘words’ to express themselves.”
“He does sometimes say, ‘I want to paint, so that’s really nice,” she shared about her son. “When I’m reading a script, he’ll scribble all over my script. I think it’s great for him to be engaged and use tools to scribble and draw. I think that shows where he’s progressing.”
So how would she thrilled if her little boy followed her footsteps? “I would be thrilled,” she gushed, telling us some of the work her son has done “look like some of the pieces [she’s] seen in the museum before.”
She continued, “I think there’s no other way for a person to really be involved and passionate about something, especially when you know it’s something that’s not always going to provide a financial foundation for you. That’s how I felt with acting. It wasn’t something that was going to be a home run for sure, but it was something that I cared about so deeply and was willing to pursue.”
Find out how LIFEWTR is helping #BringArtBacktoSchools in the video below!