Draper Elementary shows love of arts through gala
The Candell family finds third-grader Atticus Candell’s artwork on display at Draper Elementary’s second annual art gala. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Third-grader Atticus Candell pointed at a blue half-moon, orange half-sun stain glass display at Draper Elementary’s second annual art gala to his mother, Brynn, and brothers, fifth-grader Asher and kindergartner Jude.
“I liked the way those colors looked as I designed it,” he said. “We were studying the sun and moon and I split it in half to show both in one stained glass.”
The stained glass tied into students learning about the relationship between the earth and the moon in science, but it also tied into core standards in social studies and language arts, said Kylie Welling, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program arts specialist, who ensures the arts instruction integrates with the literacy, social studies and science students learn in their classrooms.
“Every artwork on display is integrated into content the students are learning,” she said. “I work alongside teachers to have students be able to demonstrate what they’re learning and express it through art, from second-graders learning about rocks and materials in creating geode replicas with salts, glue and paints to fifth-graders shaping ceramic bells while learning about matter and how the clay may change its shape, but not its mass.”
Draper Elementary PTA President Becky Alder said while students are learning to appreciate the arts, they’re also learning about other subject matters in other grades, as signs at the art gala explained.
“Mrs. Welling is fabulous in showing how the curriculum is integrated in each class such as learning about Native Americans in fourth grade through weaving, animal habitats in first grade and having kindergartners use their handprints to depict the four seasons,” she said.
Through the exhibit, signs explained the correlation of the subject matter to the students expressing it through artwork, such as second-graders learning about citizenship and geography. So, while taking a historic walking trip of Draper, they identified community and state symbols, which they later re-created with paper as quilt-block designs.
After learning about the community, fifth-graders used acrylic paint to create a mural featuring two hands with fingers forming the shape of a heart. Lone Peak Hospital displayed the mural to promote the messages of healing and health. And fourth-graders sketched landscapes while on a field trip to the wetlands, then highlighted it with watercolors.
Tying directly into their classroom learning about colors and shapes, first-graders used watercolors, tempura paint stamps and colored paper to create abstracts similar to those of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. Third-graders learned about warm and cool colors by showing how the changes of environment on living things could come to life through the use of colored tissue paper and markers.
Girl Scout leader Terri Francis invited her Brownie troop to attend the art show.
“There are wonderful examples of artwork in the gallery that use so many mediums like chalk, weaving, watercolors, clay, acrylic paint that it was a great opportunity for these Scouts to see as they are working on their painting badge,” she said. “We plan to create our own stained glass at our next meeting.”
Eight-year-old Chloe Francis said she likes doing art.
“I want to create a stained-glass castle with a dragon,” she said. “It will take a while to design it, paint it and have it dry before, bam, being done.”
Her dad, Jim, said the variety and presentation at the show was impressive.
“The level of art, its variety and quality is that of high-schoolers,” he said.
Principal Piper Riddle said she’s grateful the school has the Beverly Sorenson grant.
“This is a celebration of creativity that ties into our curriculum and through the Beverly Sorenson grant, it offers our students the value of an arts education,” she said. “Draper Elementary has a legacy of valuing and appreciating the arts, both the visual and performing arts, from its art collection to the inspiration of these student artists.”