On Thursday night, Mountain View Elementary’s gymnasium was transformed into an art gallery with watercolors, pastels, origami and music compositions adorning the walls.
At “An Evening of Art” parents, teachers and students had the opportunity to view original pieces created by students from all grades.
“It’s great to see the kid’s dragging their parents around and taking ownership of their art,” said Mountain View Elementary School Principal Karl Kircher. “Anytime that we can get families in the building with their kids, that’s a good thing.”
The school has been hosting “An Evening of Art” for several years, but this year was the first time they decided to forgo an overarching theme, instead inviting each classroom to create “whatever they wanted,” Mr. Kircher said.
Each Mountain View Elementary student displayed an original piece of artwork during the event. There were portraits of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, recreations of “A Starry Night” created with construction paper and a sea of turtles drawn with oil pastels.
“We have quite a diversity [at Mountain View] and every student has a piece to show,” said kindergarten teacher Cindy Thomas.
Her class’s projects were inspired by the artist Wassily Kandinsky, who would listen to music and paint in response to how the music made him feel.
“We drew shapes and colors right on top of the sheet music and listened to classical music as we did it,” Thomas said. “The kids loved it and the pride that the students have in showing their parents is beautiful.”
Mountain View utilizes student creativity throughout the year to further the curriculum, Thomas said. “You can use art for instruction delivery, review and exploring new information. It doesn’t have to be a written test every time, they can show what they learn through different forms of art.”
Throughout the night, students hurried to and from the walls of artwork, pointing out to family and friends which piece they created.
Fifth-grader Vincent Hensley, the artist behind a drawing of a turtle, pointed out his piece to his family and explained that he enjoyed the event because he “likes to see all the people’s art that they did.”
Hensley also plays the flute in the school’s beginning band class and created an original composition that could be heard on one of three laptops that night.
“Each of the students throughout the course of this quarter has been working on a composition on their band instrument,” explained Jonathan Dillon, Mountain View’s music and band teacher. “They made a rough draft and took some feedback from me until, finally, they had something they thought they could perform and something that was their own creation.”
Keeping in the night’s overall theme of having no theme, Dillon didn’t give his students a list of instructions for their work.
“In the ways that kids notate the music, if you don’t make strict requirements they wind up being a lot more creative,” Dillon said.
Visitors could listen to the original music at a listening station and see the corresponding sheet music that the students created.
“It’s really cool seeing the variety, creativity and how they excelled,” said Many Elkins, a parent of a Mountain View student. “With some of the art, I can’t believe kids did it.”