Emphasis on the arts | SteamboatToday.com

Emphasis on the arts

South Routt Elementary School holds Spring Art Show

South Routt Elementary School kindergarten student Grant Redmond looks closely at art displayed in the South Routt Elementary School Spring Art Show on Thursday at the school. The displays showcased more than 400 pieces of work created by South Routt Elementary students during the past school year.

— The South Routt Elementary School’s Spring Art Show on Thursday served as a reminder that parents think art education is an essential part of school.

“Art, just like music or P.E. or the extracurricular activities – all these are a part of a healthy lifestyle,” said Michael Young, who is finishing his first year as the school’s principal. “This community seems to highly value the arts.”

The community’s commitment to the arts has translated into a structured arts program for elementary students.

The arts movement gained momentum 12 years ago, South Routt Elementary School art teacher Karen Craven said. It started with local artists coming in to teach classes. Then student teachers were utilized, but art education still was not at the level it should be at, she said.

Then the school district made the commitment.

“We just wanted it in our schools,” Craven said.

This is the second year the 200 elementary students have been able to attend Craven’s art class once a week and complete dozens of projects.

“With the concepts they are learning in art, they will be able to apply them in any profession,” Young said.

Thursday’s art show was the culmination of the elementary school students’ work. Students provided entertainment by singing songs. There was no wine and cheese for this art show, but there were popsicles and other snacks for the kids.

Throughout the school year, Craven set aside certain pieces her students had created. There were more than 400 pieces in the show, with each student having two pieces.

“I’ll pick out the best pieces and tuck them away so the kids are even surprised at this point,” Craven said at the show attended by students, parents, grandparents and friends. “It’s kind of hide and seek. I put up the two pieces, and the students have to find their pieces in the show.”

The variety of pieces was vast, and students such as sixth-grader Zoû Hart were able to expand beyond pencil and paper drawings.

“I have a big imagination, so I just draw a bunch of weird pictures,” Hart said. “I learned that there are a bunch of different ways to create art. It’s not just pencil and paper. There are different types of art, and it’s fun to do them all.”

One of Hart’s pieces in the show was a collage of images in the shape of her silhouette. She also made a clay bowl that resembled a leaf.

The leaf theme was continued with art made by kindergartners. Their projects used fall-colored crayons.

“I know I liked this one,” Grant Redmond said. “I even put some veins in the leafs.”