Friday, March 29, 2024

Family Art Night: Under the Sea

Creating an aquarium, folding an origami whale and fishing for prizes were just part of the fun at Family Art Night at Exeter-Milligan on Tuesday, March 19.

The event is produced, directed and sponsored by the art department with preparation starting in January.  The department, under the tutelage of art teacher Lisa Kanode, throws out ideas for the annual event and then a theme is chosen by the high school art students vote.

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.”

The event not only introduces different art mediums to the younger students, but it also gives the 6th -12th graders enrolled in Kanode’s art classes the chance to interact and teach.  Since all of the family is encouraged to attend and this gives the students running each booth the opportunity to interact with all ages. The art students are vital in planning and designing each station for the event.

Kanode has seen a direct impact in the art department in the student body, “I definitely see a growing interest in art, even in just helping out with family art night." 

“It’s very student driven.  It benefits those who might want to go into education.  The students are sometimes nervous but I think they do fine. They get to pick what station they are going to do and then figure out what they need for each station. I give them some direction and let them run with it,” Kanode added.


This year there were 10 stations including an origami station, paper design, build your own jellyfish, photo booth, computer animated station, sailboat snack station, make your own aquarium, fishing and of course, face painting.

"I think we worked harder on this particular art night than on any other year," Kanode said, "I had one student comment that you don't realize how much work goes into this until you are involved."

 Kanode was most pleased with the results of the aquarium.  The participants started with a clear clamshell food container and then glued sand, rocks and created their own paper coral and fish to put inside.

In addition to the activities, there was also an art show of all of the projects the Exeter-Milligan students have created throughout the year.  In the commons area, the book fair was set up so families could take a break in the art action.


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