Visual Arts

Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Cindy Clark

“The arts make the world worth living in and help define purpose.”   Cindy Clark, BYU ARTS Partnership leadership team member, visual artist, singer (in the shower), piano player and teacher, works hard to ensure that teachers and future teachers feel comfortable and successful with the visual arts.   Cindy is currently helping participants in the Arts Integration Endorsement classes to get more comfortable with an art form. For example, everyone in the class recently played with watercolors in their personal sketchbooks. “We talked about sketchbooks/journals, and used watercolors as background or borders for our journals,” Cindy said. “Plus, we threw in…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Deanna Nielson at Brookhaven Elementary

My name is Deanna Nielson. I am an Art Education major, and I will be completing my student teaching next semester and plan to graduate in April 2021. This is my third semester being involved in Arts Bridge, and I love this program. I have really enjoyed teaching, having fun with the students, and learning from the teachers I have worked with. I believe that visual art is an extremely beneficial aspect of education, so I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help elementary teachers integrate art into their classrooms! Sixth Grade Mrs. Sweeney’s class has been learning…

Forest Bathing: Being Outside, Mindfully

The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku is gaining traction across Western cultures. Shinrin means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” Forest bathing, or soaking in the atmosphere of nature through our senses, is a restorative habit. As the arts connect the dots of a shared human experience, the practice of joining with nature through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch also acts as a bridge between people and the natural world. As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and the weather gets colder, finding time or space for just being in nature can prove a challenge. But there’s no such…

Critique in the Classroom: How to Use A Gallery Wall

The art room is a busy place with projects, supplies, and students everywhere. As artists, we are all so invested in the art-making process that many times we don’t leave enough time to stop, appreciate, and reflect on all that we have accomplished and learned along the way.  My students’ absolute favorite day is our “Gallery Wall” day. During gallery wall time, every student gets to display their artwork to the class. We discuss and critique each piece in a safe and respectful environment. This time is spent focusing on the positive and calling attention to the detail, uniqueness, and…

Veterans Day Art: Celebrating the Individual and the Community

Melissa Deletant teaches art in the Uintah schools, one of Utah’s most diverse districts. At Lapoint Elementary, which borders the Ute reservation, the population is mostly a mix of Native Americans and the white descendants of Mormon ranchers. Instead of seeing these differences as a challenge, Melissa sees opportunity.  Raised in a homogenous rural Pennsylvania community, Melissa’s first teaching job was in Virginia where 96% of her students were minority populations. Notions of being “color blind” evaporated when she realized that embracing each student’s unique background, perspective, and gifts would help her see the whole student and create a culturally…

Honoring September 11 Through Art

Today marks the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. This post spotlights a variety of art works spanning different art disciplines, describing the unique ways the arts helped communities across the country unite, connect, and rejuvenate in the face of unprecedented events. Channeling the pain, grief, and shock from that day onto canvas and into body art, envelopes, tree preservation, film, and movement reflects the urgency of art-making in response to crisis. These works provide tangible evidence of how communities across the nation turned their collective energy to the healing…

Using Visual Art to Express What Can’t be Spoken

“The singular focus of drawing and meditating, in the quiet of my home, cultivated a connection with something intuitive and creative that surpassed the physical realm of bodily sensations.” –Lisa KatharinaTrauma and its ripple effects affect everyone, teachers and students alike. Dr. Francine Shapiro is a pioneering therapist who defines trauma as “any event that has a lasting negative effect on the self.” Though our experiences differ, often the feelings and “lasting negative effects” housed in the body are similar. Often, the impact of traumatic events are felt so deeply that the experience is entirely beyond words.  Engaging in visual…

Non-tech Arts Activities at Home: Visual Arts

Visual arts include drawing, painting, sculpting, and three-dimensional object art. Using easy-to-find materials from around the house, these fun activities engage both sides of the brain, relieve stress, create unity, boost self-esteem, and encourage creative thinking. See if you can inspire your students or family members to think of their own activities! 1. Draw a map of your house. Include all the rooms. Add people in your family. 2. Write and illustrate four-step instructions for how to: wash your hands; become invisible; make a sandwich; teach a crocodile to dance; or, tame a virus. 3. Use chocolate pudding as finger…

A Tasty Art Show: The Student Art Gallery in the McKay School Showcases Food-Inspired Art from Lakeview Elementary

Few people know that some of the most imaginative artwork on BYU campus is housed in the school of education. Colorful drawings line the second floor of the David O. McKay Building in the Student Art Gallery, from cakes that allow you to communicate with dolphins to superhero cupcakes to pizzas inspired by paleontology. Who are these daring artists who experiment with form and push the boundaries of originality? They are the students of Lakeview Elementary School. Sponsored by the Beverley Taylor Sorenson BYU ARTS Partnership, the Student Art Gallery encourages learning through the arts in elementary schools by showcasing…

Utah Women’s History to Be Celebrated in 2020

Better Days 2020, a nonprofit organization dedicated to popularizing Utah women’s history through art, education, and legislation, has reason to celebrate this year—as do all of us. This year, Better Days 2020 will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Utah women casting their first ballots, the first American women to vote under an equal suffrage law. It is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave equal voting rights to women; and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which protected voting rights of racial minorities. Arts-Based Initiatives There will be numerous arts event to celebrate these landmarks…

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