By Sarah Naron
ELKHART – The students of Elkhart Elementary School and Elkhart Intermediate School presented their best work during the school’s annual art show held Tuesday, March 20 from 5-7 p.m. in the Elkhart Elementary School Gymnasium.
“This is probably about the 15th year for the art show,” said art instructor Pat Rainey. “We’ve had one every year, and each child has his or her very best piece in the show.”
Among the projects presented in Tuesday’s show were pieces mimicking the work of British environmentalist, photographer and sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.
“He’s a nature artist that doesn’t paint nature – he doesn’t use paints or anything. He uses the things in nature to construct the art,” Rainey said. “And so, we did that. But we had to solemnly promise that we wouldn’t tell Andy we used glue.”
Also featured in the show were large, painted rocks which will go on to be used as markers in the garden currently being grown by the third, fourth and fifth-grade students.
Acrylic paintings on canvas by fifth-grade students were also displayed in the gym, as well as miniature snowmen created from Model Magic by Pre-K students.
Weavings constructed from paper were presented by students in third and fourth grades, while yarn weavings done by fifth grade students were also displayed.
Rainey has been teaching art for the past 17 years and instructs students in Pre-K through fifth grades. She estimated that she has approximately 575 students altogether.
“The thing I’m most interested in is teaching them to draw realistically,” explained Rainey, art instructor. “Research has shown that if they don’t learn to draw realistically to please themselves, by the time they’re 10, they say, ‘I can’t draw,’ and they never try again.”
Rainey explained that she instructs her students through guided drawing to create representations of photographs, posters and real-life objects.
“The next thing that I think is most important is to get as many different types of art media in their hands as possible,” Rainey continued.
Rainey spoke of plans to help the fifth-grade students in her classes step out of the comfort zone of guided drawing.
“We’re going to have deer skulls with the antlers, and they’re going to do value drawings with pencil to help them begin to wean off of the guided drawings and start to do their own,” she explained. “And they’ve done several of those on their own already, so they should be ready to do it.”
Rainey also provided information on a fundraiser held by the art students near each Christmas.
“They design their own Christmas cards, and then, they’re sent off and printed professionally,” she said. “That’s how we get money for the extra supplies to use for our special projects.”
Sarah Naron may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.