As someone who is passionate about the arts, I am so fortunate to have had my children attend an elementary school that is dedicated to providing a strong fine arts program. This was the 31st anniversary of the school's award-winning Pageant of the Arts. Each year a new artist is selected and all students in first through fifth grade work on a reproduction of the masterpiece. In January, the 5th grade students begin learning the choreography (created entirely by some fantastic teachers) that accompany each piece. Fourth graders, who serve as narrators in costume as the artist themselves, begin memorizing their dialogue/introductions.
My daughter Savannah was chosen to be in the new piece, "Emu Woman" by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, an Australian aboriginal artist. Emily grew up in a remote desert known as Utopia and became an artist late in life, creating 3000 pieces in an eight year period until her death at 88. Her work was inspired by her cultural life as an Anmatyerre elder. The girls performing in this dance wore scarves in the same fashion as the artist herself.
The pageant was held this past weekend and the children did a Wonderful job! Kudos to art teacher Mrs. Epps, Pageant Director, (and 1st grade teacher!) for the past 16 years, Mrs. Kutz, musical composer, Matt Cohn (from the musical group, Berlin) and the entire group of teachers, parents and volunteers that helped in creating another Fantastic Pageant!
*Due to statewide budget cuts (as well as across the US) this public school's art department is funded entirely by fundraisers and donations.
Note: (other artists celebrated were Albrecht Durer, Roy Lichtenstein, Anjana Kumar, Stuart Davis, Frederick Remington & Charles Russell.)
This session my class theme is Wings, Fins, and Fur (birds, fish and mammals). Our first project was to create a dynamic tropical bird poster using oil pastel &/or watercolor. My K thru 4th group were encouraged to think about composition to keep the viewers eye moving around the space. Bird projects are always a favorite of mine!