arts in education
By zwackart on September 30, 2012
Please join the Van Etten Elementary School community to celebrate the completion and installation of these two mosaic benches depicting the life cycle of plants. They were made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts, administered locally by the ARTS of the Southern Finger Lakes. We will hold a dedication ceremony Monday October 17th from 5:50 to 6pm at the playground to recognize the creative success of student and community artists, and Van Etten teachers and staff.
Posted in In the Classroom, Recent Projects | Tagged art, arts, arts in education, collaboration, education, grant, life cycle, local, mosaic, New York, NY, plant, public school, school, science | Leave a response
By zwackart on May 24, 2011
This is the second year in a row that I have had the privilege of working with students at the Elmira Alternative High School on an arts in education project where they read a book and use it as a point of departure for their own poetry and visual art. This year the book they have been reading is the intense true story of Kevin Davis called Zebratown. It is written by Greg Donaldson and set mostly in Elmira, New York. Elmira is home to a maximum security prison that houses inmates from all over New York state. From the prison, Kevin Davis looks down on the town of Elmira and thinks it looks peaceful and imagines living there in freedom one day. Eventually he does. Zebratown focuses on a part of his life where he moves in with a white single mom and their struggle to make their lives and relationship work.
The book was hugely engaging and I read it in three days. But when I finished, I felt thoroughly depressed. I sat down and started making notes about the values of the main characters in the story, making thumbnail sketches to represent these values and try to make sense of this work of tragedy. I was thinking about representing a person by showing the layers of experience, the goals, dreams and values, as well as an image of their physical presence; a personal palimpsest. When I met with students on the first day, I asked them to make some simple sketches of their values and I gave a lesson in drawing faces using charcoal. Later we would combine these images using paint on canvas.
By zwackart on April 15, 2011
This past Wednesday, I met with four classes of third graders at Van Etten elementary school in Van Etten, New York. We talked about the fact that both scientists and artists need to use their skills of observation in their work. We used pencil, colored pencil, and crayons to draw plant specimen that the students had brought in from home. These will be the designs for the clay tiles that they will be sculpting next Wednesday.
This project was made possible in part through a Local Capacity Building Grant administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.
By zwackart on October 22, 2010
Ben Franklin Elementary School in Binghamton, NY decided to make up a fable about how the skunk got it’s stripe. They called me in to help them make clay tiles to depict their narrative. They called on renown storyteller Regi Carpenter to help Ms. Culligan’s class of second graders develop their tale. Here are some pictures of students making the tiles from raw clay, performing their story in front of the whole school and many parents, and of myself, art teacher, Athena Negros, and Enrichment specialist, Jill Browne, and Kate Culligan installing the tiles on the wall of the school.