Art Field Trip: Teaching Elementary School Art Classes with the Valise Project
This week, I had the pleasure of joining the Lux Art Institute's outreach education program, the Valise Project, as they visited fifth grade classes at Mission Elementary School in Oceanside, California. The Valise Project spends most of the year traveling to various schools across San Diego County with the intent of bringing the Lux gallery experience to students who may not otherwise have access to it.
This week, we were teaching these students about the history of landscape painting, particularly with emphasis on the Hudson River School, a 19th century group of painters who portrayed the scenes of America around them with a sense of appreciation and romanticism.
We gave each student a cut of tree trunk and some acrylic paints. On the first visit, the students were able to sketch out their plans, while on the second visit, they we're finally able to get to work! It was so inspiring seeing the art of stand-out students. It reminded me a lot of when I was in 5th grade myself and when my elementary school art class was my favorite place to be! (Also, funnily enough, a lot of kids seemed to want to paint erupting volcanos. Not exactly on Albert Bierstadt's level of serene, but what's art if we're not breaking any rules?)
The kids worked so hard! I had such a good time, and I highly encourage anyone who has any level of interest in art to volunteer for youth arts programs. Art education is so important, and of course, it can never have enough help!