Together with artists Steve Mayo and Bob Pfohl, both also Evans Art Guild members, I recently participated – for my first time – at the Highland Elementary School “Evening with the Arts.” It was a wonderful couple of hours talking with students about being an artist and illustrator, showing them different work, and even sharing some stories with a couple of young striving artists. The work displayed all around the school was simply delightful, and just experiencing all the art and music that evening, was both exciting and heart-warming.
I asked Mrs. Julie Easton, coordinator of Evening with the Arts, to share her story about the event. Thanks so much for a wonderful experience to both Mrs. Easton, and all the students whose artwork made the evening such a fantastic event! – SEB
Exclusive to the EDP – by Mrs. Julie Easton- Art Education, K-5 Highland Elementary
I started the Evening with the Arts when I started teaching at Lake Shore 22 years ago, this is the 8th year I have been at Highland and the 8th year we have had the program running here.
During the evening we encompass the areas of art through music, literature, and fine art. I organize the event but I couldn’t do it without the help of other teacher volunteers. For example, Mr. Creech (music teacher) provides drumming in the music room, Mrs. Streeter (band teacher) has students perform solos on their instruments in the band room, Mrs. Nasca (3rd grade teacher) runs a literature activity in the library, Mrs. Jost, Mrs. Ridolfi, and Mrs. Jakiel (Kindergarten teachers) have their students and families create recycled scuptures that were on display in the gym, and a few other teachers assist me with the art activilty in the cafeteria.
Every year I come up with a new art activity for students and their families to create together. This year we created circle paintings using paint and large mural paper. I came accross the idea from reading an article about it and I though it was a perfect fit for our event!
“Circle painting was founded in 2008 by Hiep Nguyen, an artist and teacher who believes in making art accessible to all through community-based art. So far, circle painting has traveled to over 10 countries and egaged over 100,00 people.”
I hung the murals up in the halls after for all the students to see, and I also hang all the student art work throughout the entire school. I make it a point to make sure every student has a least one piece hanging to share with their families.
We also featured the unveiling of the new mural in the cafeteria that was created by my 5th grade art club students. My art club students met once a week after school throughout the school year to work on the mural. To come up with the theme, I have the students brainstorm. This year they decided on a fairy tale theme with a white sparkling castle, a giant rainbow, and a unicorn! It turned out amazing and I am so proud of them!!