March is Youth Art Month, an initiative sponsored by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA), to promote visual art programs in Texas schools. To kick off the celebration, schools participate in Big Art Day on March 4, where students spend the day creating fun art projects in a BIG way.
"Big Art Day raises awareness of art education and art as a creative force in our communities on a BIG statewide scale," Tyler ISD Director of Visual and Performing Arts Sandy Newton said. "Tyler ISD campuses participate in fun, bold ways."
At Caldwell Arts Academy, students are learning how to create art in the midst of a pandemic. Using surgical masks as their canvases, students painted, drew, and collaged their personal experiences from this past year. The masks were then combined together to create large chandeliers that hang in the school's stairways.
Jennifer Vaughn, Caldwell Arts Academy art teacher, said she wanted to teach students that artists are historians. "In this project, students are not only creating art for fun or to express their emotions. They are also creating art to explain what is going on in the world," she said.
Bonner Elementary School students used their artwork to create colorful art exhibits to display on campus, while also adding crazy hair day to the fun. Austin Elementary School is holding art-related Genius Hour sessions for students throughout the day. At Three Lakes Middle School, art students are creating traditional Japanese Shibori tie-dye projects. And at Andy Woods Elementary School, kindergarten through fifth-grade students are collaborating to create two paper murals that will hang outside the art classroom. These are just a few examples of many projects happening throughout the District.
"Our young artists are given the freedom to draw images as desired using crayons, paint sticks, and paint to fill our mural with happiness," Andy Woods art teacher, Carolyn Stewart, said. "It has truly been a joy watching the kids sprawled out on the floor working together on a joint project. As we say at Woods, 'The Art Room is a place where fun always happens!'"
For more information on TAEA Youth Art Month or Big Art Day, visit www.taea.org.