The Proof is in the Pudding

Art Aware was invited to give presentations to students by principals and art teachers of different inner-city elementary schools. We would bring reproductions of famous paintings, talk about them, ask the students to respond to them verbally and through their own artwork.

Here are two examples of variations on themes by Pablo Picasso that were done in 45 minute classes: “The Smoker” by an 8th grade student and “Enamel Saucepan” by a 5th grade student.

The concentration and skill shown in both works is a tribute to their Camden art teachers as well as to the students and, of course, to the artists they were inspired by.

Our art appreciation program didn’t work well in some Philadelphia schools we visited which didn’t have art teachers. The students couldn’t express themselves, couldn’t “read” reproductions of artwork, couldn’t put their own marks on the page.

For twenty-five years Art Aware has visited dozens of inner-city public, charter and parochial elementary schools with resident art teachers and found their students exemplary. We got feedback through the students’ art work. We saw their end-of-year art exhibitions. The proof was and is in the pudding.

Credit must be given to the school boards and to individual principals for maintaining art education in inner-city schools – past, present and future!

4 Responses to “The Proof is in the Pudding”

  1. Yukio Ozaki Says:

    It is so true about having Art programs or not having art programs. Schools don’t have to scum into cutting art and crippling a wholesome Humanity program development. It will be such a profound difference in children’s future and their children’s future.

  2. Barbara Pfeiffer Says:

    Hear, hear! TY Yukio.

  3. Catherine Rossiter Says:

    The works above are truly beautiful examples of how great art influences great beauty. For 5th and 8th graders to produce what they did in 45 minutes, as well as to have it recognized, is a self-esteem well that they can return to on their own forever. Three cheers Barbara, Art Aware/Art Teachers & Educators!

  4. artaware Says:

    …and it happens across the country in elementary schools with art teachers. The trouble is that there are so many who don’t recognize the good work that is going on! TY, Catherine.

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