OCEAN PARK - Over 200 students at Ocean Park Elementary brought home pizza boxes filled with art supplies this week.
To give the students a taste of what art could be, Peninsula Arts Association held group art workshops as well as classroom art projects for all grade levels, kindergarten through sixth. The fast-paced, two-day art project was completed at the school on May 21 and 22. Much of the work will be exhibited at the school's Science and Art Fair, May 28 (check with school for hours).
The project was funded by a donation from former PAA member Lynne Waldorf. She earmarked a portion of the print sales garnered from a piece she painted for the 2006 Garlic Festival to specifically create an art project fund for Ocean Park Elementary. Acting as guardians of the fund after Waldorf moved away, PAA found the perfect person to head the program when Sue Raymond moved to the area this year. With over 30 years experience teaching art and working in education administration, potter Raymond spoke fluent "school language" and was able to design a plan that benefited all students with age appropriate projects. After doing the groundwork with school staff member Annie Fletcher, Raymond stormed the school with her troop of PAA volunteers, many retired art teachers, with art supplies and pizza boxes well in hand.
"Art offers students a learning experience where there are no right or wrong answers. It teaches them to think creatively and understand there can be more than one way to solve a problem. In art, there's lots of room in-between", said Raymond.
A total of 15 different art projects were spread out over the 200-plus student body. The younger grades worked on crayon resist paintings in a group then moved on to chalk painting, primary drips, veggie prints and line and shape language in their classrooms. Third and fourth grades did three group projects - crayon rubbings, thumbprint drawing and fish prints, before returning to their classrooms for more printing related art in the form of monoprints, Styrofoam tray prints and found object printing. The last group of fifth and sixth grade students made sketchbooks in their group session. In class they did book cover design, name perspective art, op art and charcoal portraits. Peninsula Arts Association provided all supplies for the school projects and the take-home pizza art supply boxes, through the Lynne Waldorf fund.
"This has been a very rewarding and fun project", said PAA President Bonnie Cozby. "We are looking forward to critiquing our work to find out what worked best and what needs a little change. For a first time out, I'd call it a roaring success. Plans are being made to continue funding this program with expansion to other local schools next year."
More information on Peninsula Arts Association may be found on the Web site (www.beachartist.org).