Boca Raton Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432
In Mizner Park
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April 28, 2016
Their Time at the Museum: 3rd Graders See Themselves as Art

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Carri Gallager, Mary Cavaioli and Michelle Moore

"The educational success of our children depends on creating a society that is both literate and imaginative, both skilled and creative." Mary L. Cavaioli, M.S. NBCT K-12 Curriculum, Arts Integration Specialist, Palm Beach County School District.

For this Education Morning the third graders of Hammock Pointe Elementary explored portraiture from the Museum’s Permanent Collection; focusing on works that provide a direct curriculum connection which support the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Students were encouraged to discuss artwork based on how it evokes or displays emotion. For example, “Samantha” by Alex Katz is an abstracted print with bright colors and limited detail. A few students cited the lack of detail but noted how the colors made them feel happy. An open dialogue prepared the students to create their own self portrait downstairs in the auditorium.

After the tour students drew their self-portrait while looking in a mirror. The outcome revealed how different the eyes of every student are; an exercise in drawing suddenly became a window to how each student views themself. A link between art and the world around them was forged with the students’ self-reflection. The studio component offered an experience in communication, visualization, and sensitivity to the self and others.

Hammock Pointe Elementary student Hammock Pointe Elementary student

Hammock Pointe Elementary students

I talked to the teachers of Hammock Pointe Elementary and was inspired by how essential creative expression is in their classrooms. Teacher Carri Gallager posits “It [art] creates a kinesthetic connection between subjects (like reading and science).  Art is connectivity that aids the children in expressing their relationship to school subjects.” Hammock Pointe is an inclusive school; children on the special needs spectrum are integrated with their peers in the classroom. For teachers like Gallager, art is a form of self-expression that allows each participant to communicate their own unique view of the world. “For many of them, that is their gift; to recreate visually what they study, what they read.”

Education Mornings facilitates the integration of art into the curriculum and demonstrates the enhancement art gleans for educational success. Because of art, students are engaged with their own blossoming cognizance. Any way we spin it, art is important. It’s crucial. It balances, develops, enriches, and strengthens every mind. The museum provides Education Mornings to fortify the confidence of each participant and gently guide learning minds to embrace the power of creativity. Because Art definitely Matters.

Posted by: Adrienne DeCramer, Social Media Coordinator @ Tuesday, November 26, 2013 9:00:00 am 
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