Mon, Sep 27, 2021
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South Bend starts art program for junior high students

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Photo by Kayla Camenzind Eighth grade boys created sculptors of snakes out of the clay generously donated by local artist Joanne Jambor for the art program. From left are AJ West, Hayden Williams, Trevor Olsen, and Jeffrey Fetters.

Based on the structure of the Art Smart program currently implemented in the Chauncey Davis Elementary, the eighth grade art curriculum is focused on providing students with a general sense of major art movements and influential artists since the 1300s.

In their first lesson, students studied the works of Italian Renaissance sculptor/painter Michelangelo. Upcoming lessons include Neoclassicism and Jacques Louis David, Romanticism and Eugene Delacroix, Impressionism with Claude Monet, Post-Impressionism with Vincent van Gogh, and Surrealism with Salvador Dali. Along with these art movements and artists, students will study important eras of the last 600 years, including the French Revolution. They will learn to analyze how the politics and culture of a time period influences art and will begin to understand how to dissect works of art.

Along with each art history lesson will come an art lesson - students will create a variety of crafts by using tools such as clay, charcoal pencils and charcoal drawing paper, oil paints and canvas paper, and graphite pencils. During their first lesson, students crafted sculptures out of clay that was generously donated from local artist Joanne Jambor. Future art projects include canvas painting, drawings, and collages.

South Bend Superintendent of Schools Jon Tienhaara spoke to the importance of art education. "Giving students the opportunity to learn and practice various art forms is critical in delivering a solid and well-rounded education. Art connects to so many different subjects of the curriculum as well as life aspects. It is something I definitely value and want to see developed here in South Bend."

South Bend High School Principal Jason Nelson built on those ideas. "For many students, art could be a fun hobby, a much needed escape, or a way to find their own path to success. My hope is that we can take the success we've had in Art Smart and continue to build on that in the future."

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