One recent project of the 2nd-4th graders has been learning about a painting done in the style of artist Vincent van Gogh. Smiley made a copy of van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” painting that featured a dramatic night sky with twinkling stars and twisting trees. The students learned about his intense colors and brush stroke techniques. Smiley cut her copy into rectangles and each student used colored pencils to draw their assigned piece on larger paper using the grid concept. The students’ work was joined together by Mrs. Smiley into a mural displayed for a month in the school cafeteria. This will also be displayed at the Altus Public Library.
As a reward for excellent participation in the weekly Arts Renaissance program, the Will Rogers students in the after-school program received their own art book entitled The Usborne Art Treasury from the sponsors. This book features 22 works of 14 artists from around the world with projects to do from landscapes to paintings to animal pictures to sculptures. New stickers and pencils were also presented on December 16.
The next semester the students will continue learning about pencil drawings, paper crafts, printmaking, oil pastels, watercolors, making collages, sculpture, and many more. These projects use some of the same method or materials as the artists that are featured in the student’s books received from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council. All the final art pieces made by the students are taken home or displayed during the year. By completing the creative arts, the students will learn to achieve, feel good about themselves and others, and improve their performance in creative expression and reading through this enrichment program.
Arts Renaissance has enrolled 35 second through fourth graders in the Will Rogers Extended Day Care program in this program. These children have been recruited through the after-school teachers Rallene May, Lynne Herron, Cindy Wakeman, Christy Harris, Sheryl James and Debra Green.
Another aspect of the art program has been the involvement of volunteers who make the program successful. Doug and Earnesteen Dalton of Friendship volunteer weekly to assist with the program. Other volunteers have included some Altus School teenagers and the WOSC Baptist Christian Ministries.