Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Art Smarts

I recently spent 4 days in a local elementary school working with grade 5 students through the Arts Smarts program. Schools can apply for special funding to bring artists into the school to work on a specific project that encourages students to meet outcomes in various subject areas through the arts. This is the second year I worked with Goulds Elementary school. The previous project in 2007 was with grade 4 students. Check here to see what they created. The current work is not up on the website yet. It was enjoyable to be in a classroom again and look at the world through the eyes of a child.

This year students created books about animals found in Newfoundland that would be shared with younger students. Two classes made foil embossed paintings that were stored in 4 portfolio scrapbooks. The other two classes painted background scenes and embellished them with different papers. Their animals were created separately and attached to the scenes using velcro. These paintings on bristol board were then compiled into four accordion style books with pockets on the back for the detachable animals.

I'd like to share several of the backgrounds depicting trees. There are a lot of commonalities from work to work that I thought were interesting. The programs supports a specific number of contact hours and there's never enough time to do all the things you would like to after the work is created. I didn't have time to speak with the children about their work, so I can only surmise why they represent trees in this way.


TheDecoDetective said...

This is important work! I think we ought to have lots more of all kinds of art, music, dance and theater in school. We humans have done these things always, almost regardless of culture - and with very few exceptions, I believe. So it must be obvious that it's extremely important to humans to be allowed to express oneself through various kinds of art.

Margaret Ryall said...

I agree Trudi. It's so important to bring art to the lives of children every chance we get. I was lucky to spend a good part of my life as a teacher and had many opportunities to encourage the arts in diverse ways. I'm glad someone finally commented on this post.