Artful lessons

Published 11:00 pm Friday, April 27, 2012

The folk artist SHE-SHE spent Friday morning working with students at Troy Elementary School. SHE-SHE is one of the artists participating in TroyFest, which begins today in Downtown Troy. (Photo/Robbyn Brooks)

Visiting artist shares insights into creating art with students

Fifth-graders at Troy Elementary School sprawled out with colorful paints and brushes on a lawn at the school Friday along with a guest artist who will appear at TroyFest this weekend.

“It’s the year of food,” exclaimed folk artist SHE-SHE Vaughn who resides just south of Birmingham. “All of our work today will be related to food.”

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Vaughn helped the students come up with clever stories and then, together, they created scenes straight from their brains.

“We came up with a story involving horses and how a farmer would work from sun-up to sunset,” said Will Reeves, 11.

Reeves said that it was interesting to see what he imagined come to life on paper.

While Reeves’ group painted a tractor, corn, a horse and beautiful sunset, another painting showed a shrimp lounging in a beach chair.

“Some people don’t think that cartoons are art,” Vaughn said to the children as they worked. “But, they are. Cartoons can be works of art, too.”

The students used recycled tarpaper, paintbrushes, markers and Q-tips to create their works of art.

“It was fun learning how to go over dry paint with a Q-tip to make different patterns and textures,” said Autumn Williams, 10.

Williams said she usually draws and paints people, but the Friday morning project was a nice change.

TES art teacher Jennifer Lindsey said she was impressed with the way Vaughn interacted with the students.

“She has connected all of these murals to things they’ve been learning in the classroom,” Lindsey said. “And with the recycled paper, it goes back to ‘Go Green Week’ with the city.”

Vaughn, along with other arts and crafts vendors, will be selling their wares and telling their stories at TroyFest on Saturday and Sunday.