Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pageant of the Arts

 "Emu Woman" - Emily Kame Kngwarreye

 "The Connoisseur" - Norman Rockwell

 "Golconde" - Rene Magritte

 "Storm Boy" - Willie Seaweed

 "Starry Night" - Van Gogh

 "Starry Night"

Savannah, post pageant with niece Shaeye

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.) 


  1. What a fabulous idea!! I am going to share this with others at our school!!!

  2. Wow is right, this makes me smile so much, what a great event!!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. I've been going every year since we moved here. My son was in the Stuart Davis piece 6 years ago. It's something all the kids look forward to participating in when they enter 5th grade. (Every child that wants to participate and comes to the rehearsals will be in the Pageant. -This I love!)
    Christie, you should come down next year since you're local.

  4. Excellent! A magnificent staging. Congratulate your child and their teacher for this proposal as innovative, fusion of dance, music and painting. I found a great plastic beauty, I was pleasantly surprised.

  5. I teach music and art in a small town in SC and would love to use some of these ideas. I was wondering if that would be ok with you? Also if you have the different lesson plans and/or music you would share would be greatly appreciated!! I'm not asking for much -lol

    1. The Pageant was held at my daughter's school. I am strictly a parent and an audience member. I teach private after-school art lessons. Sorry I can't help you there. Best of luck! :)


I appreciate your comments and feedback!