Harrison kids make, then critique artwork
Author: Tammy L. Lane • First Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Budding art critics are honing their skills in the Explorium children’s gallery in Victorian Square.
Harrison Elementary students all contributed to this Equestrian Art Show, which includes miniature sculptures, collage self-portraits, drawn portraits, landscapes with horses and logos based on Kentucky’s “Unbridled Spirit” theme. Now they are analyzing the pieces.
“You pick somebody’s art to tell what you see and what it reminds you of,” explained fifth-grader Arionna Thurman. “I liked her design and colors because it was so realistic,” she said of another girl’s logo.
Art teacher Jeffery Hale walks with his classes a few blocks to the downtown gallery, where he guides the kids through the critique process. Each has a clipboard with questions and a pencil bearing the reminder: “It all starts with a line.”
In a writing exercise, Hale asks the students to select a work they like and describe the patterns, colors and other visual elements. Everyone has an opinion to share, he tells them.
“I’m reinforcing the concepts from my lesson, but really teaching them to be art critics,” he said. “I’m interested in my kids being able to articulate their feelings about the experience and how they feel about each other’s art.”
This project fits well with the Kentucky Department of Education’s revamped arts and humanities requirements.
“The new program expects our students to make, show and respond to art that they create,” Hale said. “The new content is about kids getting their art into the public and making that connection between community and art.”
“Showing student works in this public space helps our students to think and feel like real artists,” he added.
The schoolwide project, which debuted Sept. 25, piggybacked on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“I’ve been teaching about the games and what a big deal it is and how horses are important to Kentucky,” Hale said.
He asked the Explorium to sponsor this show and received about $2,000 for art supplies, including roughly 400 tiny sculptured horses painted by individual students. Fifth-grader Taiza Freeman said the miniature models were her favorites.
“These are like the horses downtown, and I like those,” she said, referring to the Horse Mania public art installation.
Hale noted how Harrison Elementary’s proximity to downtown Lexington exposes students to a variety of opportunities.
“The big thing I’m always trying to do is create a community of artists,” he said. “In order to do that, we must be part of the community that surrounds our school.”
If you go
Equestrian Art Show
Who: Students of Harrison Elementary School
What: Exhibit of horse sculptures, logos and landscapes, as well as self-portraits
When: Through Oct. 25
Where: The Explorium’s children’s art gallery in Victorian Square, 440 W. Short St.
Contact: Jeffery Hale, (859) 381-3418