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Art History Inspires Fifth Grade Artists

By: Art Teacher Erica Spangler

February 4, 2016

Fifth graders have been learning about a variety of artists in art class. Each student chose an artist’s name out of a hat. They used an iPad to research their assigned artist and discover when they worked, what art movement they were a part of, the style of art they created, and what types of art materials they used. Each student designed a large Rossman apple in the style of their artist and then presented their finished artwork and research to the class.

The goal was not to just recreate a work of art, but to make their own art influenced by their researched artist. It was fun to see the students engage in research and then determine how they would like to design an apple in the style of their artist. There was excitement in the room as each student worked with different materials to create their unique work of art. Chosen materials included colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, fabric, cut paper, acrylic paints, crayon with oil, photography and Photoshop techniques, wire, and wood assemblage.

Georges Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Louise Nevelson, Andy Warhol, and Faith Ringgold were just a few of the fascinating artists studied by the students. Be sure to stop by the Children’s Art Gallery to see the apples and read about each artist represented.

A trip to the St. Louis Art Museum would be a great follow up for all families, even those who did not make the art. You can find a work of art by almost all of the artists studied by our fifth graders. It is more impressive to see an actual work of art rather than one in a book or on the internet. Things you discover at the museum firsthand are the size of the artwork, the actual colors and textures used by the artist as well as seeing the different materials up close. Don’t forget about Family Sundays at the St. Louis Art Museum. Each week from 1-4 p.m., there are hands-on activities and lively tours through the galleries.

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