The art piece that got the most interest was Rebecca Weed’s “Choose Your Own Adventure: We Told her Not To.” One little boy went off, very seriously, on a whole story about how the girl in the painting was biking and got hit by lightning, etc. The rest of the students were just as involved
Their teacher, Ms. Econom, said that during this presentation she "learned how to properly question primary age students about art in a way that has them making higher-level connections." We do our best to reach students in a way they don't often experience. Pushing them to question the images and messages in art expands their empathy and imaginations.
After our presentation we did an art project modeled after Mimi Matsuda's "Bike Rack." The project involves thinking about personification. Using a combination of oil pastels and chalk pastel, we draw an animal doing something that only humans can do. During the project, the same boy who had taken Weed's drawing so seriously drew a tiger. After finishing the teeth on his tiger he said, “There, now he’s devastating.”
The two teachers were supportive and happy with the day and suggested I visit the high school later this year.
The Lewistown Art Center is a very well-run, active art center that offers three different weekly after-school art classes for local students. School buses will even drop the students off at the Art Center on those days. Lewistown is a happy, healthy art community and it was a pleasure to visit.