Friday, March 1, 2013

Art Day at Reilly Elementary School

Mandy Compton, COT Teaching Artist

Monday was the day that our students have been anticipating for quite some time--Art Day with Ms. Sonja.

 As each class filed in to begin their all-too-short class period, they were treated to the wondrous materialization of their imaginations that Sonja had designed.  Alien Dogs made out of crunched scrap paper and brightly colored tape, Star Cars made out of foam board with push lights for headlights,

and three-dimensional canvasses for the Green Sun, Ummm Burgers, Worm Waffles, and Squid Sandwiches that comprise our "Alien Buffet." 

As we assigned projects for our first class to work on, we had so much interest for each project that we had no trouble putting everyone to work right away.  As the painting and decorating got underway, it was encouraging to see how invested the kids were in the importance of their work.  One little girl was so specific with her project that she insisted her dog have a collar so she could write his name on it.  During the two second-grade classes, we focused on creating their alien antennas (pipe cleaners attached to headbands) and alien skin (puffy paint designs on knee highs for their arms). 
The kids were really dedicated to putting just the right colors in just the right place , and finishing their projects.  

In fact, one little girl who was only able to attend the last five minutes of class was intently focused on finishing her headband and having the googly-eyes in a specific pattern.  We stayed a little late to help her finish and she was thrilled when we let her take her newly created treasure home with her. 

Art Day during Opera For All exemplifies one of the many reasons that I am proud to be a part of this outstanding educational program.  We teach kids about every element of an operatic performance, not just singing or music.  Giving each child an opportunity to shine during the different guest artist visits and diverse projects we assign gives them a sense of ownership of the final performance, and a new means of connecting to the operatic genre.  Keep checking back for more news about Reilly's progress in 2013!

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