Making their own masterpiece

Students walk in the shoes of famous French artists

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— The Steamboat Springs High School students will get to walk in the shoes of Monet and other French artists during an integrated art project next week.

Students in French IV are studying French art and will have artist and teacher Rich Galusha teach them art history while also giving them some hands-on experience.

"The students will actively make their own masterpiece," French teacher Nicole Goode said.

Students will choose an artist and French painting genre to study and will create a painting of their own.

The workshop gives students an in-depth look at art and an opportunity to dabble in the art genres they are studying.

"It makes the project that much more realistic," Goode said.

She said collaboration between teachers helps create more dynamic programs for students because teachers can combine their areas of expertise.

Galusha said he works with individual classroom teachers to tailor a program that will enrich the current program of study.

"I'm almost the Renaissance man of the school I have to do a lot of reading," he said.

Galusha said he spends almost two weeks studying an art genre or topic before preparing a presentation and art project.

He said the program indirectly shows people how art influences history and culture.

Teacher Lisa Wilderman said Galusha prepared a presentation on political cartoons to supplement her classes' study on 20th century court cases.

Wilderman teaches American history and literature and said the integrative nature of her class makes the art program even more useful.

"We are on the cutting edge then to bring art in is a wonderful fit," she said.

For Wilderman's class, Galusha prepared a power point presentation on the history of political cartoons and demonstrated the basic techniques of drawing.

Wilderman said just the art techniques students learned were valuable.

"It's the idea that whatever you are drawing attention to becomes the largest part of the cartoon," she said.

Galusha said he has created workshops on the Greek and Roman era, and the history of advertising and illustration.

He said for the Greek and Roman workshop students learned some background history and then did a project on mosaic tiles.

The art projects are designed so they can be completed in two class periods.

Galusha said his goal is to get every teacher to commit to a project.

He said he has to "sell" ideas to teachers and make sure the projects are appropriate to a unit of study.

The integrated art program is not new to the high school but was discontinued and restarted this year.

"We have the resources so it's good to be doing what we were doing before," Wilderman said.

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