Excellent news! Both NASA and the Lancaster Art Museum got back to me in last couple of weeks. With our upcoming field trip and exciting news from both of these entities, our After School Art Program is going strong. Both groups were very excited to hear about our projects and seem more than willing to lend a hand with the students.
NASA’s wonderful staff at the Dryden Research Center was extremely kind and helpful. Their public relations specialist seemed excited to get one of their teachers out to our school. She mentioned one teacher who is also an artist focusing on aerospace art and seemed very encouraging when we sent a tentative schedule for a visit.
The Lancaster Art Museum was just and generous in their support and excitement. After we return from spring break, I’ll be contacting the museum once again. They would like to preview some of the student work and make decisions on where they would like to show it. The new museum facility includes a classroom for children from the public. I think our student art might be shown there for the grand opening.
The students also had a good time at our last meeting. After sending a number of original characters off for the scholastic contest, I decided that it would be worthwhile to spend some time exploring acrylic paints and canvas. Knowing that most of the students have limited access to art supplies, I felt that dedicating a couple of hours to fun and practice was a good idea. I’d like all of the final pieces to be acrylic on canvas.
In class, I laid out posters of the solar system and space exploration. I gave a thirty minute lesson on consistency and application of acrylic paints before letting the children explore their own canvases. The class had a wonderful time working with the paints and exploring the solubility and elasticity of acrylics.
Mentorship played a large role in these last few weeks as well. I had personal conversations with some of the students concerning academics and behavior. Being the art group leader, my interaction with them is very different from that of a regular teacher or a parent. The students seemed much more receptive to suggestions on proper behavior and academic focus. Their drive to remain in the art program and explore their own creativity also seems to help.
Overall, the students are having a wonderful time and I can see positive changes in their outlook.
This post also appears at EAL/LA.org