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Springing Into Art

Our island’s warm breezes herald the coming of summer and of change. In our third-term return to Visual Arts, the students have been very excited about trying new, fun and engaging challenges, and getting their hands on different mediums.

In Upper Elementary we started off the term by observing the local poinciana trees, which are currently in spectacular, urgent bloom. We focused on sketching them and re-drawing our sketches on canvas, as we discussed perspective and composition. The students used acrylic paints to capture the fiery flowers; the resulting compositions were all so vibrant and varied in style. The Upper Elementary students has also had the opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal Art, in particular dot painting. We explored a brief history of this cultural tradition, delving into the use of symbols, the use of images as communication, and the link between language and creative expression in this very old art form.

In Lower Elementary, we were likewise inspired by poinciana trees and the art of Australia, and we used the seed pods from the trees as our canvas: we painted and drew Aboriginal symbols and animals directly onto the pods. We also celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the well-loved story book, “Elmer The Elephant” by David McKee by drawing our own individual versions of Elmer, or by working in groups to create large, collaborative Elmers. If you are not familiar with this wonderful book, its message is that of being happy with who you are, and celebrating our wonderful diversity in all its forms.

 

Nearly all of the students love to paint so we do get the paint out regularly, but another medium explored further this term was chalk. It is very satisfying to use, as the colours are so bright and learning to blend is fun. It is also very messy, and therefore can be quite challenging. The Lower Elementary children have created some striking compositions of flowers with this medium. 

One of our final projects this year involves the exploration of the French painter, Claude Monet, his famous water lilies, and Impressionism. In addition to MBTS collecting a grand total of 14,000 plastic bottle caps, Upper Elementary students are also going to try their hands at creating some “upcycled” Art using bottle caps. This will be an inventive and environmental way for the students to turn trash into treasure.

We are all looking forward to showcasing the students’ work in our end-of-year art show and during the graduation ceremonies in June.

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