CHARLESTON — Hundreds of colorful images of owls and urban landscapes cover the walls of Carl Sandburg Elementary School, and third-grader Teja Hickenbottom can’t wait for people to see them.
“I think they’re really going to be amazed at how much excitement and how happy it is,” she said.
The chance comes this evening during the school’s annual Family Art Night, when visiting families get to see what the students have done and to create some art themselves. Art teacher Heather Bryan said she thinks the visitors will find the art interesting and easy enough to do that they’ll be ready to do it again when they get back home.
“We really want to bring families in and show them the energy the kids have for art,” she said.
There are about 545 students in first through third grade at Carl Sandburg and Bryan said each of them has at least two pieces of artwork on display. All the students did paintings of owls and cityscapes in the style of the late New York artist James Rizzi, she said.
There will be about a dozen art projects in which visitors to the Family Art Night can participate. Some will be more traditional forms such as chalk drawings, clay sculptures and silhouette tracings, while others will call for making figures with aluminum foil or sculpting something from items randomly taken from a box.
Families will also be able to make T-shirts of their own design and take part in an art recognition game, all of which Bryan said goes toward the goal of raising awareness of the school’s art program and sparking creativity. Carl Sandburg has had the Family Art Night each year for several years and also has a Fine Arts Day in the spring once every three years, she said.
Bryan also said the types of projects that will be part of this evening’s event show that “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to what types of art media grade school students can use. She said she starts the school year with simple shapes then builds up to more detailed work to show the students “they can do anything.”
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