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Patterns were the focus of art with a 3rd through 5th grade class at Lynwood Elementary School during a residency with Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman. We began with texture quilts, using shapes and gold foil. Then we made numbers 0 to 9 using large stencils, oil pastels and watercolor. This was a collaborative project inspired by artist Jasper Johns’ number paintings.
With clay, we practiced patterns using beads. Then we explored tints (adding white to a color) and shades (adding black to a color). We made cityscapes, starting with red or blue paint and using the San Francisco skyline as our inspiration. Some of us included shapes from cities we have visited around the world.
Observational drawing is key. We practiced looking closely to record what we see, using animal toys as models. We made self portraits using metallic Sharpies. We chose five adjectives to describe ourselves, then turned each word into a different line. Our final weeks were spent practicing print making and color mixing, again exploring pattern.
Each end-of-class reflection was an opportunity to practice talking in front of the class and listening closely when our friends talked. Students came up with thoughtful observations to share and asked excellent questions.
At Youth in Arts, scaffolding is important. With each lesson, we build on previously learned skills to foster creativity, compassion and confidence in all learners.
Through the California Department of Education’s Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant that the Marin County Office of Education received, Youth in Arts was in multiple Special Day Classes this spring.