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Branching out in art class

Dale Thompson

Art class can draw from other subjects.

The Colby School has an Art Enrichment Program that incorporates what students are learning in the classroom with what they do in art.

"A lot of these students are visual learners," said Art Enrichment teacher Liz Sprackland, who recently earned her MA in Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix.

She often talks with teachers to create art assignments that are related to what they have been learning. For example, students in the middle school recently learned about WWI and created charcoal drawings depicting parts of the war. She said the assignment helped them realize how dark the character of WWI was.

"(Teachers) come to me with ideas, and they understand the value of art," she said adding that many of the parents appreciate art as well.

For the school’s upcoming Creative Movement performance the art classes will be decorating backdrop pieces that relate to themes of each grade’s performance. Sprackland will give the students artistic control in letting them decide what medium to use.

On Monday students began working on their submissions for the Utah Arbor Day Poster Contest. Fourth- and fifth-graders sat in the Colby School Art Barn as Sprackland, explained the contest.

"They’re very big on trees," Sprackland said while pointing to a sample poster she had created over the weekend.

She asked students to include a variety of trees in their posters and recommended oil pastels. Different reference books were given to the students so they could look up different species of trees.

This year’s theme for the contest is: "Trees are terrific, in all shapes and sizes." It must appear somewhere on the poster.

Sprackland, along with other teachers at the school, will pick a winner from each grade, K-6. Those winners will go on to compete at the regional level. Those winners compete in a state competition where the grand prize is a $100 U.S. savings bond. Their entry will also be mass produced and sent to schools throughout the state.

Hopes are high for the Colby School participants. Sprackland is confident that her students will do well at the competition.

"I think they’re definitely a talented group of students," she said.

Mary Dunford, a fifth-grader, hopes to be a cartoonist some day because she likes to draw characters.

Sprackland’s art class is one she looks forward to and says, "I just like the creativity. She’ll tell us to draw what you see when you look into someone’s eye."

Reid Bohanan, a fourth-grader, has put this year’s theme in his poster as a tree carving.

"I like being creative," he said.

Peaches Harrison is putting an aspen and a blue spruce in her poster.

She says she likes art because, "you don’t have to do anything perfect."

Drew Dischmann, a fourth-grader likes art as an outlet.

"It’s just interesting and fun to do. It’s a way to express yourself sometimes."


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