Exeter-Milligan elementary students got to experience the art of a variety of artists in multiple mediums on Thursday evening at the art department’s annual Family Art Night.
Art teacher Lisa Kanode introduced the event in 2015 and it has grown in attendance each year since. Kanode explained, “Family art night is a special event that many can benefit from. Starting with the volunteers and helpers as they get an opportunity to teach and interact with kids. Families benefit as they have the opportunity to spend quality time with their kiddos in an unique way.”
This year, students in Kanode’s art classes chose and studied an artist and created a reproduction or recreation of their work. Then they created eight stations that helped attendees explore artists and their works. Each station also has the supplies for the families of all ages to create art in keeping with the style and the medium of the artist.
Kanode added, “The get to know the artist posters are resources for the art room and one of the sources the kids can site for their slide show presentations that they do as a class requirement.”
This year they ranged from the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein to the abstract watercolor of Paul Klee.
The event not only introduces artists to the younger students, but it also gives the 7th -12th graders enrolled in Kanode’s art classes the chance to interact and teach.
This year they estimated they had 80-100 in attendance. The most popular stations were soak stain on fabric, string painting and plaster art.
With COVID-19 restricts everyone wore a mask and there were two different sessions that families could attend. Instead of exploring on their own, the small groups rotated through the stations on a schedule.
Most of the supplies are from the art department and donations. A new addition this year was the easels used for the art posters which were donated by the Exeter-Milligan booster club.
Once Kanode’s students have participated in the event they are very hands on with the planning and execution of the event, “One of my students said, next year we can have an Art therapy theme. I said, ‘if you think about it, that is exactly what it is, art can put a smile on your face when you are least expecting it, creating art is therapy.’ It makes my day when I find an unmotivated student just going through the motions of their day and I get them to really create something and they say, wow, this is fun.”
Those in attendance Thursday evening would vouch for the smiles on their faces from another fantastic family art night.