A beginning arts appreciation program called Arts Renaissance III starts today for the after-school Title 1 third graders held at Sunset, Will Rogers, Washington, and Roosevelt Elementary Schools. With sponsorship coming from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council, Arts Renaissance will be an enrichment experience for the children.
The Renaissance Arts instructor is Mindy Smiley. Smiley’s teaching will incorporate discussion, demonstrations, lectures, visuals, and hands-on experiences in developing the students’ personal interests and talents. Her creative, cultural art projects are focusing on the “Arts Around the World”.
The session themes will be the arts of famous artists and their style, and the children will practice that style by doing a specific project. Each session begins with a representative art form, the history of this art form, and how it relates to the children. The art projects are simple but fun, and provide the students the opportunity for self-expression. The children are introduced to a variety of art materials with emphasis on using recycled materials and techniques based upon the arts of the different artists of the past. The art projects will include pencil drawings, paper crafts, printmaking, watercolor painting, and sculpture during the 24 sessions among the schools.
“By completing the creative arts, the students are learning to achieve and feel good about themselves and others,” said Smiley. “We hope to see an improvement in their performance in creative expression and hopefully their desire to learn more about cultural arts through this enrichment program.”
The students will have help from teachers Cathy Madl from Sunset, Debra Mardis from Will Rogers, Diana Robins from Washington, Laura Bell and Chanet Huckaby at Roosevelt, and Title 1, ELL, and Migrant Director 1 Director Nicole Walker.
Another aspect of the art program will be the involvement of volunteers who make the program successful. Smiley worked with Loran Mayes from the How-to-Place to design educational projects that would be creative and entertaining. Altus retired art teacher Doug Dalton of Friendship has also been a volunteer with the after-school art program for many years.
“This is one facet of the arts and humanities for young artists in our community,” stated Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council board member Kathy Hale, “that our organization gives financial support and leadership, plus several annual events and performances for people of all ages.”
Reach Ida Fay Winters at [email protected]