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 the work of students from the five public school districts in the BYU–Public School Partnership.
Lakeview was the first school chosen for the art gallery. Elicia Gray, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP) specialist at Lakeview Elementary in Provo, Utah, led the students of Lakeview from kindergarten to third grade as well as fifth grade through different art exercises. Hundreds of students from Lakeview submitted artwork for the Tasty Art Show, and eighteen were chosen to represent their school.
The partnership hosted its first gala for the gallery during February. Students and their family members were invited to explore the gallery, see their art, and snack on BYU’s famous mint brownies. Each student received a certificate congratulating them on earning a place in the gallery.
Here are some of the highlights:
“Bentley’s Cupcakes” by Bentley, Kindergarten
Kindergartners explore kindness and sharing by inventing a cupcake. “If I could create a cupcake that I would give to my friends, this is what it would look like. One is a Spiderman one, and one is a Batman one. All of them are bubble gum flavored. They give you spiderweb powers and Batman wings when you eat them.”
“Soda Art” by McKenzie, First Grade
First graders learned how to keep from “blowing their tops” like soda pop. “If I could create a soda that would make you good at drawing, this is what it would look like. It’s a soda that makes you good at drawing with paint. It tastes like bubble gum; it smells like mint. There are pencils on it that are curvy.”
“The Coolest Pizza Ever” by William, Second Grade
Second graders created pizzas to practice problem-solving. “If I could create a pizza that would make you good at to be a paleontologist, this is what it would look like. It would look like this: it has bones and skulls and people that dig into the ground and a detector that finds bones underground.”
“Dragon Blood Ice-cream” by Charlie, Third Grade
Third graders used persuasion to create their own irresistible ice cream flavors. “My ice cream flavor is: dragon blood, tears, metal, paper, soap, ink, and chocolate. The only place to get this is Antarctica. It cost 100,000,000,000,000 pennies. (And only pennies).”
“Dolphin Island” by Natalie, Fifth Grade
Fifth graders learned about the artist Wayne Thiebaud, mimicking his style as they used pastels to create their own cakes. “My cake is strawberry and raspberry flavored. You can talk to dolphins when you eat it. The icing is blueberry flavored. The cake makes me happy when I eat it.”
The gallery will remain in the McKay School until the end of March, when each of the winning students from Lakeview Elementary will receive their artwork in a large black frame donated by the ARTS Partnership.
Lakeview won’t be the only school spotlighted in the art gallery. The ARTS Partnership plans on continuing the gallery with a new group of students from a different local elementary school every other month. Students in the five public school districts in the BYU–Public School Partnership (Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, Provo City, and Wasatch County) will all have a chance to submit their artwork for the art gallery’s consideration.