Sean came home a few weeks ago and very excitedly told us how he had one of his paintings selected to be in the district wide art show. This is a non-juried show, designed to highlight the works of students of all grade levels throughout the district. Each grade level from each school was represented and there were many different forms of art--painting, drawing, sculpture, print making, graphic design, photography, fabric art (weaving and such)--and they were all on display for two days at Maggie's high school.
I was astounded at not just the sheer number of pieces displayed, but by the quality of the work at all levels. First I'll show off my curly boy's project.
A wonderful Islamic tile print. James brought his home and I'm absolutely putting a frame around it. It's red and blue and I have no idea where it will fit into my home, but I don't care. He did a great job on it. Even he thinks he did well. And he would be the first to tell you that art just isn't his thing.
These last two are self-portraits done by seniors in the AP art class. Maggie tells me they've been working on them for 12 weeks. The works have been in the hallway and so the school has seen them progress since the beginning of the year. They are very big and while I only show two here (my favorite two. The blue-eyed girl? Maggie pointed her out to me at the show and she looks just like her portrait.) there were about 10 others and they were all extraordinary.
This list was on the back of the program. I wanted to share it with you because I think it highlights reasons that art is important.
*Art is a language that all people speak that cuts across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhances cultural appreciation and awareness.
*Art integrates body, mind, and spirit.
*Art provides opportunities for self-expression, bringing the inner world into the outer world of concrete reality.
*Art is an opportunity to experience processes from beginning to end.
*Art develops both independence and collaboration.
*Art provides immediate feedback and opportunities for reflection.
*Art makes it possible to use personal strengths in meaningful ways and to bridge into understanding sometimes difficult abstractions through these strengths.
*Art merges the learning of process and content.
*Art improves academic achievement--enhancing test scores, attitudes social skills, critical and creative thinking.
*Art exercises and develops higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and "problem-finding."
*Art provides a means for every student to learn.
I'm so impressed with the work that all these students have done. But I'm also impressed by the quality of teaching occurring. You know how people say you get out of something what you put into it? It's obvious the love, care, and level of expertise that our children are receiving given the outcome I witnessed. Well done, students! Well done, teachers!!