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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 1, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesART IS WINDOW TO CHILDREN'S HEARTS

ART IS WINDOW TO CHILDREN'S HEARTS

"Simply the Best" reads a bright, sparkling sign which hangs over the artwork on display in the auditorium of Kirwan Terrace Elementary School. Asked if this is the theme of the art show, teacher Julie Armbruster quickly said, "no, that's our awards ceremony motto," but then she thought about it, and said "well, yes, perhaps it should be."
The stage is filled with drawings, paintings and some collages assembled by the students who range from kindergarten to sixth grade. Armbruster, with the thoughtfulness of a museum guide, provided a tour through the exhibit, starting with the "Peace through Art"section.
"I asked the students to think of what peace means to them, especially in getting along with each other,"she said. And she got some graphic answers. The paintings show different ethnic groups at play, saving one another from calamities like drowning, and answering the call of the conch blower.
Armbruster has taught in the public school system for 21 years, 10 at Kirwan Terrace where she teaches all grades, and 11 prior to that at Dober Elementary School. Her love of her profession is almost infectious. "Children are basically formed by the time they are ten," she said. "They need attention and understanding when they are young, and no amount of money thrown at them after that will make up for it," she said, adding that she didn't mean to really get into her theories about child-rearing.
But, it makes sense, and the children's art reflects her attention to them."I ask them to draw about what they know,"she said. "For instance, I ask them to draw their mother, what color is her hair, her shoes, is she tired today?" These are things they are familiar with, Armbruster pointed out, "so they can draw to express their feelings about what they know."
One of the most whimsical displays was in response to the question, "What's above the trees?" One youngster's answer was an airplane labeled "Jet Census 2000."
"You get to see what's in their hearts," Armbruster said. Kevin Stridiron was running around the stage, anxious to show off his carnival drawing of a clown. "Come on, come look, " he said, "this is what I saw!" His clown, indeed, looked like a clown. Others took on all sorts of guises, including that of a "peace warrior." Asked what that was, really, third-grader Dekeshawl Abbott said "that's how it is." Ok.

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"Simply the Best" reads a bright, sparkling sign which hangs over the artwork on display in the auditorium of Kirwan Terrace Elementary School. Asked if this is the theme of the art show, teacher Julie Armbruster quickly said, "no, that's our awards ceremony motto," but then she thought about it, and said "well, yes, perhaps it should be."
The stage is filled with drawings, paintings and some collages assembled by the students who range from kindergarten to sixth grade. Armbruster, with the thoughtfulness of a museum guide, provided a tour through the exhibit, starting with the "Peace through Art"section.
"I asked the students to think of what peace means to them, especially in getting along with each other,"she said. And she got some graphic answers. The paintings show different ethnic groups at play, saving one another from calamities like drowning, and answering the call of the conch blower.
Armbruster has taught in the public school system for 21 years, 10 at Kirwan Terrace where she teaches all grades, and 11 prior to that at Dober Elementary School. Her love of her profession is almost infectious. "Children are basically formed by the time they are ten," she said. "They need attention and understanding when they are young, and no amount of money thrown at them after that will make up for it," she said, adding that she didn't mean to really get into her theories about child-rearing.
But, it makes sense, and the children's art reflects her attention to them."I ask them to draw about what they know,"she said. "For instance, I ask them to draw their mother, what color is her hair, her shoes, is she tired today?" These are things they are familiar with, Armbruster pointed out, "so they can draw to express their feelings about what they know."
One of the most whimsical displays was in response to the question, "What's above the trees?" One youngster's answer was an airplane labeled "Jet Census 2000."
"You get to see what's in their hearts," Armbruster said. Kevin Stridiron was running around the stage, anxious to show off his carnival drawing of a clown. "Come on, come look, " he said, "this is what I saw!" His clown, indeed, looked like a clown. Others took on all sorts of guises, including that of a "peace warrior." Asked what that was, really, third-grader Dekeshawl Abbott said "that's how it is." Ok.