Elementary students visit CalArts for culminating art exhibit

Students at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) view artwork from Newhall Elementary School students on display at the school as part of the Arts Pilot Program and Community Arts Partnership (CAP) on May 8. 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

On Monday, forty second and third grade students from Newhall Elementary School traveled to California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) to view their artwork on display in the school’s L-Shaped Gallery.

The Practice and Pedagogy: Arts Pilot Exhibition was the culmination of a semester-long, collaborative course between CalArts’ School of Art, CalArts’ Community Arts Partnership (CAP) and Newhall Elementary School.

Through the partnership, CalArts students lead a visual art workshop at Newhall Elementary School while participating in a seminar module at CalArts that included classroom discussions, pedagogical tools and approaches to teaching.

“This was a one-on-one and hands-on experience,” said Darcy Huebler, CalArts’ School of Art associate dean and instructor of the Arts Pilot Course.  “There is a consistent group that works with them [Newhall Elementary School] and they get to experience teaching,”

Students from Newhall Elementary School look at their artwork on display at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) as part of the Arts Pilot Program and Community Arts Partnership (CAP) on May 8, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

In the arts pilot program, Newhall Elementary School students learn to tap into their creativity, imagination and critical thinking skills as they create drawings, collages, animations, writings, music, object makings and other experimental art practices.

“We do a whole series of projects that act as a point of departure for all of them,” Huebler said.  “We have a theme and they use it as a starting point and let them explore it.”

This semester, students learned how to explore and mix colors, create paintings out of beet juice, make collages with photos and drawings, complete an image transfer process, make observational drawings of beetles and create instruments out of found materials.

Artwork from Newhall Elementary School students on display in California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) campus as part of the school’s Arts Pilot program and Community Arts Partnership (CAP). Christina Cox/The Signal

Third grade student Justin Escoto, 9, said he participated in the program last year and enjoyed making new artwork each year.

“I liked when we put something under a piece of paper and it showed up,” Escoto said of the image transfer process project.

The program also acts as an inspiration for students at the elementary school to continue making artwork and pursue higher education.

“These kids end up pursuing art,” said Claudia Arrue, community liaison for Newhall Elementary School.  “They were never exposed to it before and to see their art in a gallery is exciting for them.”

For third grade student Audrey Williamson, 8, the best part of the program was creating a harp, shaker and guitar out of recycled materials like a toilet paper roll, tape, beads, wood and rubber bands.

“This is the first time I’ve ever made stuff like this,” she said.  “I want to make more of every single project.”

Parents of students involved in the program are welcome to visit CalArts to view the exhibit from Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

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