Artbridges workshop is about experimentation

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tara Sartorius, leader and director of the Tony Scott ArtBridges Educational Teacher’s Workshop, shared ideas with Nikki Allen, Goshen Elementary School at Wednesday’s workshop.

Much can be said about the nature of experimentation.

Especially, when the results are unexpected.

Experimentation is the way that Tara Sartorius is helping 36 teachers from the Troy City and Pike County schools get in contact with their creative places.

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Sartorius, former curator of education at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, is the leader and director of the Tony Scott ArtBridges Educational Teacher’s Workshop underway through today at The Studio in downtown Troy.

“Today, a much higher premium is being placed on creativity as a way to solve all kinds of issues,” Sartorius said. “So, at the workshop, we are flexing our art muscles as a way of getting in touch with the creative spirit inside of all of us.”

The ArtBridges Educational Teacher’s Workshop is designed to weave art into the thinking and teaching process of its participants.

Teachers discover ways to use art across the curriculum and to use art to enhance all subject areas, especially math, science and language.

On Wednesday, each of the teachers designed an art centerboard for classroom use.

“The art centerboard activities include the basics of art and are designed so that they can be used independently by the students,” Sartorius said. “These are very good teaching tools.”

The ArtBridges workshop is also laying the groundwork for the upcoming exhibition of Charlie Lucas’ sculpture at the Johnson Center for the Arts. Lucas is an internationally acclaimed sculpture from Pink Lily, Ala.

As an introduction to Lucas’ presentation, workshop participants will partake in activities involving shape, lines and wire. Lucas will give a lunchtime presentation of his work at the workshop at noon today.

“During his presentation Charlie Lucas will create wire designs as a way of illustrating how lines, shapes and wire can be used in art projects,” said Wiley White, Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center development coordinator. “He will offer ideas on how these art elements may be used in the classroom.”

The ArtBridges teacher workshop is in its fifth year, but this is the first year to bear the name Tony Scott ArtBridges Education Program. The benefits of the program are many, White said.

“Teachers learn ways to incorporate art across the curriculum and students become more excited about learning,” she said. “As students have more successful learning experiences, the dropout rate decreases. So, this is a very worthwhile program for the entire community.”

The workshop is produced in partnership with the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education and sponsored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, Lockheed Martin, the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Caring Foundation of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and Art-Time Studios.