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'Gallery 2017' Celebrates All Things Artistic At Middle Gate School



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Jessica Powers and her father were among the first guests at Gallery 2017, Middle Gate Elementary School's spring student art show. The two had the opportunity to speak with art teacher Jean Walter, and then began taking in all of the art that had been produced by the elementary school's students during the school year.

Jessica proudly showed her father a plastic plate that was filled with clay cookies. There was a chocolate wafer sandwich cookie, a peanut butter-chocolate candy cookie, and others on the small plate, each of which had been created by the fourth grade student after she and classmates had been introduced to the art of Andy Warhol and Wayne Thiebaud.

A large table in Mrs Walter's art room was filled with small plates and boxes of similar baked goods. Tarts and pies had been laid out next to small pastry boxes filled with colorful cupcakes.

Hanging on a chalkboard above the table was another collection celebrating Pop Art. Fourth graders this year had their introduction to the art movement of the 1950s and 60s extended when, after working on their 3D clay creations, they were introduced to the process of mono print-making. Multiple prints of a single image hung on the wall behind the table where their clay pieces were on view, with Warhol-style views of pies, candies, donuts, and other temptations.

Elsewhere in the art room, other tables were filled with coiled clay snakes, a project of third grade students; and watermelon pinch pots, which had been done by first grade students, among other collections.

In neighboring hallways, families found bulletin board after bulletin board covered with dozens of works.

Shape Snowmen and Silly Pumpkin Faces done by kindergarten students filled one board. Another nearby space featured paper mosaics done by first graders inspired by the paintings of Alma Thomas, and color circles created after they had been introduced to work by Wassily Kandinsky.

Watercolor birch forests inspired by Claude Monet shared space with paper cutout pieces based on Henri Matisse's work, all done by second grade students.

Third grade artwork included a collection of Aboriginal art paintings, juxtaposed with landscape paintings celebrating the work of Vincent van Gogh.

As attendees worked their way around the school's hallways, heading back toward the main entrance, the final collections of work presented additional pieces by Middle Gate's fourth grade students. One set of works, called "An Eye for Color," had multiple lessons. Students had leaned about primary, secondary and tertiary colors, which were used to color the iris of an oversized eye. They then looked inside themselves, and filled their artistic pupils with simple drawings and symbols, creating their own self-portraits.

"Winter Cardinal" by Lilliana Figueroa, who used technology to observe cardinals in the wild, according to notes in the brochure for Gallery 2017 by MGES art teacher Jean Walter. Children were introduced to a painting technique by combining salt and watercolor, and also practiced painting with tempera and oil pastels to create their seasonal bird works of art. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
After learning about the folk art of Oaxaca, Mexico, including the coiling hand-building technique for clay, third grade students crafted their own Coiled Oaxacan Snakes. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
Addison Dellacorte's pumpkin painting. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
"An Eye For Color," including this one by Jayden Taylor, invited students to explore tertiary colors, and then use simple drawings and symbols to create self-portraits. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
A collection of works by fourth grade students during the 2016-17 academic year offered scratchboard designs of ancient Egyptian images, An Eye For Color (student self-portraits), and pumpkin paintings. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
"Birch Forest" by second grade student Nathan Pickard. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
Third grade works on view in Gallery 2017 included landscape paintings inspired by Vincent van Gogh, pastel landscapes inspired by Wolf Kahn, falling leaves color wheels, warm/cool glass orbs that were created with various mediums. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
A sampling of the Pop Art monoprints created by Middle Gate fourth grade students this academic year. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
The plate of cookies created by Jessica Powers shows some of her favorite varieties. Students were allowed to create the cookies of their choice for the art project, she said. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
Middle Gate Elementary School fourth grade student Jessica Powers shows off her plate of clay cookies to her father, Steve, during Gallery 2017. The 90-minute special event allowed parents and other family members to take in all of the art projects done by students of the Cold Spring Road school during the 2016-17 academic year. (Bee Photo, Hicks)
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