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Students have personal take on art

For the students in Day Barnes Art by the Tracks class along the railroad tracks on East Walnut Street in downtown Troy, it recently has been “All About Me.”

“And that’s in a very good way,” Barnes said. “For about six weeks, we have been talking about the things the students like and ways for them to express their feelings about themselves through art.”’

Barnes said the initial project for the “All About Me” art classes was to create a silhouette of each student.

“In turn, we placed a bright light on each student so he or she cast a shadow onto the drawing board,” Barnes said. “We traced around their shadows to make their silhouettes. Then, the students cut out their silhouettes to be used as the center of their “All About Me” art project.”

In class the students talked about the things that make each of them “me.”

“We talked about what is special in their lives,” Barnes said. “We talked about the things they like, about the things they enjoy doing and the places they like to go and things they like to eat, about all the things that make each of them differently ‘me.’”

From those group conversations, came the inspiration for the “All About Me” art project for each student.

“The students looked through magazines to find pictures all about each of them,” Barnes said. “They searched for pictures of things they like and things they like to do. Most of them quickly found pictures of their favorite animals. Some of them have pets at home, mostly, dogs and cats; others would like to have a house pet and others wanted a horse.”

Barnes said each student cut out pictures of things they like and those pictures were placed around their silhouette that tells “All About Me.”

The art project was designed to stimulate the young art students’ imaginations and for them to be creative and uninhibited.

“So often children are told that things are not right, that ‘this doesn’t look like a tree,’” Barnes said. “They shouldn’t think of art as being right or wrong. Art is expression and, in art, they learn there is no right or wrong; that their art is really “All About Me” and how they express who they are through art.”

Art classes at Art by the Tracks are on Wednesdays and Thursdays and will be taught during the summer in conjunction with theater for children at Troy University. For more information, call 334-207-2662.