Whitefield Academy Blog
Art Smart Whitefield Students
The art journey at Whitefield is an exciting adventure. It starts with what our art teachers describe as “directed creativity.” Mrs. Heather Huettner and Mr. Matt Appling, art teachers, start to shape and mold students’ natural creativity in the earliest grades. They introduce them to the concept of having a goal for their artwork, and a balance between the project’s concept and creative choice. This sets students up to begin learning the real fundamentals of art theory.
First and foremost, the students experiment with many kinds of art-making materials and techniques. For example, Pre-Kindergartner Tate enjoyed using pipe cleaners to dot white paint onto dark blue paper to create nothing less than stars in the night sky! Rachelle, 1st grader, tells how she enjoyed using pastels to draw apples. And Campbell, 2nd grader, says that his favorite project was making a fish out of clay to go in the triarama they made.
As well as this, art history is incorporated for these youngest students. For instance, the work of Brazilian artist, Romero Britto, inspired these amazingly colorful creations. Second graders commented on the project: “We got to draw with our scissors,” Emilyn says. Tirzah stated, ‘I liked doing the shapes and the bright colors. I chose the colors myself.” And Jeremiah added, “I liked that we got to use not just the sun but lots of our imagination.”
Each year, Mrs Huettner does a collaborative project with the second grade classroom teachers. Describing this year’s project, she says, “2nd graders learned a bit about Eric Carle, prepared textured papers, and then made book covers for the animal research project they are doing in their classrooms.” [See 2nd Grade class pictured with book covers at the top of this post.]
In conclusion, while unstructured creativity is certainly essential to a child’s development, similar to unstructured play in the form of recess, Art class is a really special time in a student’s week when they have an artist-teacher who builds their “mental toolbox,” giving them all kinds of new ideas and skills that they can put to use now and for years to come. The art journey at Whitefield is a meaningful one that we wish for all children to have.