The Hour: Student Art Show Highlights Work with Several Media

See the article at The Hour here.

By Simone Jasper sjasper@mrt.com  June 11, 2017

The inaugural art show at Carver Center was more than an opportunity to display student work. The show was a culmination of a school year that introduced many students to new materials to use in their art. That show was spearheaded by fine arts teacher Kylie Carrell.

“Art is important to me, and I wanted kids to feel ownership and pride of what they’re working on,” she said. “I think everybody can be an artist. They don’t have to study it like I did.”

She said the show that premiered in May allowed students to share their artistic creations with their parents.

The show was held after school in the Carver Center gyms. In her first year teaching on the campus, Carrell was grateful to lead the effort.

The teacher’s instruction made an impact on students in the 2016-2017 school year, according to Principal Jan Rhodes.

“Because they were able to use different [media], I think they gained a confidence they didn’t have about their artistic abilities and exposure to different forms of art out there,” Rhodes said.

Students used a variety of materials including watercolors and ink, but they were also introduced to materials such as clay and pastels by Carrell that they had never used before.

“I try to give them a taste — a little bit of everything,” Carrell said. “I have different [media] based on the grades and what they would enjoy.”

For soon-to-be-fifth-grader Albany Solis, the introduction to pastels in Carrell’s class was a moment to remember.

“Since I was a little girl, I always liked art,” she said. “When I touched the pastel for the first time, I put my finger on it and put it on the paper. It blended all the colors together.”

Carrell tried a different approach to getting new materials for her students. She  turned to donorschoose.org, a website that allows people to support classroom projects at public schools. Through generous donations from the community, she received different types of media she and her students wouldn’t have used otherwise.

As students were learning to use a whole new palette of art materials, the teacher also  introduced students to famous artists and the history behind their work.

That information inspired Albany.

“I thought I could be like them one day when I heard about that,” she said. “Maybe I could do this, or maybe I could do that.”

Carrell also used well-known works to explain artistic movements  such as impressionism, surrealism and cubism as well as teach about portraying three-dimensional objects.

Brock Jones, who will be in sixth grade, learned about highlights and shadows while creating a planet in the solar system. He looked forward to sharing his work with others., but he also seemed to take something deeper from it all.

“When I finished, it was amazing,” Brock said. “You can express emotion through a piece and get to share.”