Lewiston fourth-grader Meredith Ferrari works on an art project during class. They are two of several pupils who will have their art displayed in a Boston museum.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Sporting names such as "Flower Fury" and "Double Sided," some multimedia art of Lewiston Elementary School pupils will soon be displayed in a special exhibition at a Boston museum.
The National Art Educators Association will hold its annual conference in Boston from March 4-8. During that time, there will be a exhibition of artwork from pupils throughout the country at the Arnheim Gallery at The Mass in Boston.
The art of 28 Lewiston Elementary pupils, including a painting called "Two Students" by 10-year-old Ashley Nichols, was sent to Boston on Friday for the exhibition.
"I never thought my art was something that would be in a show," the Lewiston Elementary fourth-grader said. "I'm excited."
Ashley and her classmates were instructed with a choice-based art program. The Boston exhibit will feature works of pupils taught with that program.
Choice-based art education treats pupils as real artists and encourages them to make their own choices about their art ideas.
Lewiston Elementary art teacher Staci Konesky supports the teaching method.
"Every student gets to work at their own level of development and it puts the student in charge of the creative process," said the four-year teacher, who began teaching the choice-based method this school year.
"They have to come up with creativity and they have to do all of the problem solving themselves rather than that being directed by the teacher."
Lewiston Elementary fourth-grader Ashley Nichols stands next to her art project on display at the school.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
To facilitate free thinking arts exploration in her pupils, Konesky divided her classroom into 10 zones with each zone reflecting a different artistic discipline, including sculpture, mask making, puppet making and painting.
The method produces pupils with heightened creative-thinking and problem-solving skills.
"I have a 6-year-old (pupil), who has a work going to Boston, that started off wrapping some yarn around a stick," Konesky said. "He then started to interlace the yarn and, now, he's practically taught himself to weave.
"All I've done, with all my students is to give them the basics and urge them in certain directions. The rest they're figuring out and exploring on their own."
Lewiston fourth-grader Meredith Ferrari created a work called "Double Sided," which is Boston-bound and uses a variety of yarn colors in a rectangular frame around a painting of multicolored stripes.
The work represents the various emotional ranges of people, the 9-year-old said.
"I called it 'Double Sided' because the dark yarn represents sad feelings and the bright yarn represents happy feelings," Meredith said. "The stripes are all of the crazy feelings."
Choice-based art instruction is more conducive to pupils creating a work of art with such insight as was used in Meredith's work, Konesky said.
"With the kids in charge of the creative process, it gives them a more authentic artistic experience, rather than me just directing them," she said.
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