We live our lives in art, whether we know it or not.
From the architectural design of our homes to the packaging on a box of macaroni and cheese, at some point everything that’s been created has gone through a creative process to contemplate its aesthetic. The matter of fact is that art is everywhere.
Art in our schools is taught by passionate teachers who strive to convey this same message to their students — that art is everywhere, even outside the classrooms in which they teach. But, after the bell rings and the students scramble out the door, we can only hope that they’ll remember to take note of the artistic world that surrounds them.
How can we remind children that art isn’t only in the classroom — that it’s not confined to a papier-mâché assignment or a 50-minute period, two times a week?
Perhaps the best way to teach children that art is everywhere is to teach art everywhere. By teaching in novel environments, we can help children to gain a greater awareness of art in everyday life, as well as a connection with friends, family and the community.
The Fox Valley offers a variety of art opportunities that further this initiative.
A recent exhibit, “Glass Days,” at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass is a perfect example. Throughout several weeks, local students were invited to work in the studio with area artists. Over 100 students created their own glass pieces and then showcased their work at the final exhibit in March.
Dawn Passineau, studio assistant at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, described the initiative and end result.
“Our goal is to make this a memorable and lasting experience for the students, teachers and families. It was wonderful to see all of the students and their families on the day of the exhibit opening and how proud they were of what they had created.”
Another example is the upcoming Fox Cities Community Art Day happening May 16 (Drop-in between 10 a.m.-1 p.m.) in Houdini Plaza.
During this free event, friends and families are invited to create their own artwork to take home, contribute to collaborative community art projects and visit the pop-up gallery featuring artwork from local students.
To make this day possible, the Fox Cities Building for the Arts is proud to work alongside the Fox Cities Educators for the Arts, a group of art educators across the Fox Valley that meet to discuss ways to improve art education and accessibility in our communities.
“Fox Cities Community Art Day gives art teachers the opportunity to cultivate students’ talents outside of the classroom, showcase student artwork, while providing members of the community an opportunity to produce artwork together,” according to Elyse Lucas, a founding member of the Fox Cities Educators for the Arts and an art teacher in the Menasha Joint School District. “Events like this are invaluable because of art’s amazing power to help people connect and to grow.”
With partnerships between our in-school art educators and community organizations, we can help our children realize the role art and creativity play in enriching their lives and the community, and most importantly that art offers rewards beyond a letter grade on a report card.
—Lindsey DePasse is the marketing and events coordinator for the Fox Cities Building for the Arts, a proud member group of the Fox Arts Network, a grassroots organization of nonprofit arts groups serving the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. FAN’s goal is to encourage trial in all art forms. For more information:
Voices of the Arts
A community columnist from the Fox Valley arts community writes on issues, trends and observations from the arts world each Monday in Life. Today’s columnist is Lindsey DePasse, marketing and events coordinator for the Fox Cities Building for the Arts.
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