Art at P.G. Chambers School
When walking through the halls at P.G. Chambers School, my eyes were immediately drawn to the artwork decorating the walls. Art class at P.G. Chambers School, are not only therapeutic, but also gives the children the opportunity to express their unique creativity. The inclusion of art into the school’s curriculum has changed the overall dynamic of the school and has allowed students to demonstrate exceptional talents.
The staff at P.G. Chambers School strives to combine enjoyment and satisfaction into the students’ learning experiences. The teachers and therapists create learning opportunities within the context of play and creativity. The students look forward to weekly art classes with Marcie, the art teacher, and the valuable lessons they take away.
After sitting in on an art class with Classroom 2, I saw firsthand the thrill and fulfillment that the children get from completing their work and having it displayed in the hallway. The students experiment with various media and are provided with an art history lesson on the origin of the work they are studying.
I would like to introduce our July “Art Students of the Month”; Summer and Caldric.
One of the highlights of Summer’s artwork was the piece entitled Dream Variations 3. This was a two-part project that focused on where the artists get their inspiration. Marcie taught her students that visual artists are often influenced by creative writing and poetry. She then had them read poems by William Carlos Williams and the artist, Paul Klee and were asked to express the feelings they got from the poems through their painting. The students used warm or cool colors based on how they visualized the emotion or feeling of the poems. The students then wrote their own poems based on their personal interests. Summer decided to write about music and portrayed her feelings through her poem and in the colors of her painting. Her ability to express herself through her artwork and poetry is incredible.
I found the large paper mache` pencil that Caldric did to be an amazing piece of art. This piece incorporated identity pop art in the form of a sculpture. Caldric chose the word “Smart” as his word to describe himself and used a pencil to depict the word itself. Caldric then painted over the paper mache` pencil to make it accurate and vibrant. The piece was well thought out and took about eight working hours over the span of 2-3 months to complete.
Along with these great pieces of art, some of the work completed by students has been chosen to be displayed at the Morris Museum located in Morristown, and a juried Craft Fair at the Morristown Armory as well as in other public and private venues around the community. Prints of the student artwork are also available for purchase. A catalogue can be sent upon request, by emailing Therese Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back to the school website in the coming weeks when the artwork will be made available through the school store.
I am so proud of all of my students. They have worked so hard to stretch their creative potential and their knowledge of the visual arts. At the end of every school year, when I go through all the work that the students have completed and see their increased skills, I am amazed at what they were able to accomplish and remember; particularly in regard to the historical and artistic importance of each artist that we have studied. This demonstrates the power that the arts have as a learning tool. More significantly, it provides each student with the opportunity to express their individuality, their thoughts, and their understanding of the world around them. This also shows each student that his or her “mark” is as significant and as important as any other “artist”.
For me, it shows the world that they can accomplish great things, and the arts provide them with a vehicle to express their voice in society and humanity.