Artists in the Schools is one of several Education Through the Arts programs developed by Wells Fargo Center for the Arts to cultivate and nurture lifelong learning. All Artists in the Schools projects deepen the connection between classroom lessons and a Schools Show, combining a post-performance activity and three hour-long lessons in participating classrooms. Every project is designed for specific grade levels so that the outcomes and objectives are age appropriate and rooted in Common Core Content Standards.
In this mini-residency, which included approximately 100 local students, the connection was Science & Visual Art. Participants first saw the school show, Peter Gros of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, featuring a wide variety of live mammals, reptiles, and birds where students learned about their unique characteristics. Immediately following the performance students enjoyed a customized walking tour at nearby Safari West, providing a first-hand opportunity to see wild animals up close and in a natural habitat.
The focus of the project was the concept of camouflage in nature as students explored the four types of camouflage—concealing coloration, disruptive coloration, disguise, and mimicry. Students considered the habitats in which animals live in order to understand that their unique characteristics help them survive in nature.
Inspired by the animals they saw and with new eyes geared toward looking for camouflage, students got to work on a three part art project. Working with local teaching artist Judy Timmerman, students first selected an animal, insect or fish to depict. They drew the creature freehand onto art paper, used oil pastels and water to color the creature and then cut the creature out. Students then selected a background paper that best camouflaged their animal. Oil pastels and paper were used to represent their creature in habitat to create the appearance of camouflage. The border treatments are inspired from shapes and patterns found within the piece.
This exhibit was created by 3rd grade students from Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts who participated in the project.
The Center is committed to showcasing student art throughout the year, and we are pleased and impressed with the variety of work created during the project.
Special thanks to teachers to Bonnie Raines and Bronwen Bryson from Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts on this fantastic arts-integrated project.