After School Program Explores ‘Art of the South’
Children enrolled in the 21st Century After School program at Sam Case Primary School in Newport recently had the opportunity to explore the art and music of our southern states, under the guidance of guest artist Teresa Chrismas
Ms. Christmas, who owns Art Matters Community Art Studio in Bowling Green, Ky., and is an artist-in-residence with Warren County (Ky.) School District, provided a special weeklong program focusing on “Art of the South.”
As the children learned about artists who were either living in the South or influenced by the migrations of Southern artists to the North, they were shown several different art forms such as clay, collage, print making and painting. The children explored each medium and created their own works. Additionally, Ms.Christmas linked the artist each day with music of the period, so the children were working on their creations while listening to great blues and jazz musicians.
One exciting surprise was learning that one of the artists that they studied, Jacob Lawrence, had actually had his first exposure to art when his mother enrolled him in an after school program in Harlem. Another surprise was learning about the sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett, who, although she only passed away in 2012, was the granddaughter of slaves.
The week culminated with an art show on Friday evening. The room and halls were crowded with parents, grandparents, and friends coming to see the children’s creations. Awards were presented to children whose work was chosen “Best in Show.”
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers After School Program of Lincoln County School District provides a hot meal, tutoring and homework help, and enrichment experiences such as “Art of the South” to children grades 1-8 at seven locations in Lincoln County.
For more information or to volunteer, contact program director Joyce Thompson Graham at 541-265-4767.