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Elementary art curriculum on display at schools; parents get hands-on experience

by Joyce Hollister

Art shows drew parents, relatives and friends of students at elementary schools in the Carson Valley.

At C.C. Meneley Elementary School, parent participation was one of the goals of the evening art show held Dec. 13.

“It was great to have it that way,” said teacher Diane Mitchell. “Not only was it interactive, the parents got to experience what fun the kids have in doing any art program. It’s different when you share it with your children.”

Tables were set up for children to make items, Mitchell said, from paper flowers to weaving tablemats. A specially fun activity is taking a picture of half a face, from an ad in a magazine, for instance, and then drawing the other half.

Beth Gebhardt is art teacher at CCMES. Also on tap that evening were hallways filled with children’s art, student demonstrations and refreshments.

A similar evening was held at Minden Elementary School with art teacher Jan Reil Dec. 14.

Reil said later it was the best thing she’s ever done, and she’d never seen such parent involvement.

“It was very successful,” said school secretary Debbie Haskins. “Three hundred people were here – the majority of our enrollment.”

At Jacks Valley Elementary School, not only visual art was presented but also a play, “The Raven and a Seagull” was offered.

Theme for the JVES Winter Art Festival was “Northern Exposure to Art,” and featured Alaskan, Canadian and British Columbian influences on the children’s artwork, according to art teacher K.C. Brennan.

A dance interpretation of the aurora borealis was presented, and hosts and hostesses for the evening were volunteer students, Brennan said.

The elementary art program strives to expose children to skills at his or her own grade level. Students are encourage to feel a sense of success though completion and display of artwork, and skills are leaned that can be used beyond the art classroom.

Each year a new curriculum is taught to each grade level with some initial review of acquired skills.

The art shows are designed to demonstrate the ongoing progression of art skills that begin in kindergarten and build through the 6th grade level.

Among these skills are- one and two-point perspective, complementary colors, study of famous artists, three dimensions, composition, drawing, painting and watercolor.