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Draper Journal

Draper Elementary draws new art skills from Kimball Art Center

Aug 28, 2017 04:20PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Draper Elementary students learn how to emboss with a visit from Kimball Art Center’s educational outreach program. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Draper Elementary first-grader Jackson Giles loves to learn, so when the arts education tour from Park City’s Kimball Art Center came to the school, he was excited.

“My favorite thing I’ve learned is to take a closer look and then I can learn more about art,” he said. “I’ve learned to brainstorm ideas and if I make a mistake, like if I accidently make a dot, I can fix it by turning it into a sun.”

At the end of the school year, Jackson and his schoolmates were learning how to look at art to see what they would want to examine more closely.

First-grade teacher Tawna Glover said it’s similar to looking under a microscope and taking a more detailed look at things around them.

“It’s teaching them to take a close look at what’s around them,” she said. “The students are getting hands-on, engaging skills that are really a lot of fun.”

Embossing was a hit among the students. Many drew their favorite animal, shape or initials before cutting out the image and placing it on an embossing press, which the students got to crank the wheel.

First-grader Kimball Jones drew a shark, which he embossed.

“It’s my favorite animal,” he said. “It’s cool to learn about them and it’s been amazing to use the embossing. Turning the handle was my favorite part.”

Kimball Arts Center ARTS tour coordinator Heather Stamenov said that each year their tour has a different theme, yet the ideas relate to the art center’s main gallery exhibits.

“We teach them a hands-on way to explore the theme and also give teachers more resources on how they can apply it in their classrooms,” said Stamenov, who traveled to the school with volunteer Darrell Bloomquist. “We want to not only promote art, but also to inspire art.”

With the first project, drawing what they may see in a microscope, students learn to take apart or magnify a certain drawing or doodle, Stamenov said. While embossing, they learn how to take a closer look, even if it’s subtle.

“Before we meet with all the students’ classes, we share a PowerPoint with the students so they learn about how an artist studies something, both literally and symbolically,” she said. “Then, we allow the students to have the chance to think creatively about what shapes are interesting to them, what would be fun to create. So much of schoolwork is rigorous — students aren’t being given the time to allow their minds to create, imagine or innovate. This is a chance for them to do that, but at the same time practice their fine motor skills, listen to step-by-step instructions, learn the proper ways to use brushes or pencils and other useful day-to-day skills while having fun.”

The Kimball tour this year has traveled to 5,000 kids at 20 schools across the state, including Draper Elementary.

First-grade teacher Sarah Roberts said for the past five years, students have looked forward to the day.

“We’ve done different art projects each time,” she said. “Painting with recycled items was fun for them, but it also taught them how to make connections. At the assembly, they learn vocabulary of different art terms and they showed them different ways to approach art, such as making feet for a chicken out of silverware. So when the students have the opportunity to have hands-on time with Kimball Art Center, they’re thinking abstractly, outside the box, looking at something they’ve seen before, but in a different way. They’re learning something new while having fun. They’re being creative and engaged.”