ARTBRIDGES: Artist brings workshop to PCHS students
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The bridge between art and math and science was strengthened Monday as nearly 100 students at Pike County High School participated in an art project directed by “Dr.” Don Stewart, a professional artist, and Tara Sartorius, the designer of the Johnson Center for the Arts’ ArtBridges program.
“Don Stewart and Tara Sartorius led the Johnson Center’s ArtBridges summer workshop for teachers and, on Monday, we were able to go into the schools and actually do an art project with the students,” said Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director. “This visit to the schools was a follow-up to the summer workshop and the response from the students was outstanding.”
Follow-up visits to the schools are a large part of the ArtBridges program but the follow-up at PCHS was the first at a high school.
Pritchett said the purpose of the artist’s visit to the high school was to integrate art into the math and science classes.
“Art is often thought of as being a subject off to itself,” Pritchett said. “We don’t often think of art as a part of math and science but the students learned Monday that it is.”
Many of the students were hesitant to pick up a ballpoint pen and attempt to draw “something.”
“Most of them said they couldn’t draw and didn’t really what to try because the other students might make fun of them,” Stewart said. “But, when they left the classroom, all 60 of them had created a piece of art.”
Stewart put the students at ease by saying that he often “messes up.”
“I will have worked on a piece for a month or two and, then, my wife will hear me yell, ‘Now, I’ve messed it up,’” he said. “The only thing you can do when you mess up is put more ink on the page. You probably won’t have what you first envisioned but you will have art.”
For the PCHS math and science students, symmetry and balance were the words of the day. Each student was given a line drawing of a familiar building. Using a ruler and stencil they were instructed to divided the building in half and, using a variety of shapes, create a design for the building that would be symmetrical and balanced.
“One side of the building should be the mirror image of the other,” Stewart said.
The building image chosen for the project was actually Monticello, which is pictured on the reverse side of a nickel. So, a little history was also incorporated into the art project.
Melinda Defee, math teacher, said her students were very impressed that she had created a piece of art.
“They know that I can’t even draw a straight line and, that I created art, really amazed them,” Defee said, laughing. “This art project demonstrated to the students that art is a part of life and they were made aware that there are many ways that art relates to life in the classroom and outside the classroom.”