82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, August 14, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesDa Vinci To Gun Violence, Student Artists Get The Picture

Da Vinci To Gun Violence, Student Artists Get The Picture

May 23, 2009 — The stage at Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School is set, but there's no curtain to raise on this show. The stage walls abound with art — fanciful, imaginative and some quite sophisticated — from the students.
Art teacher Julie Armbruster talks about teaching the creative process. "It takes a lot of practice at first," she says. "You have to capture the imagination of the children, their inner responses, not an intellectual response. You have to let them see the drama around them. For instance," she takes an imaginary broom to sweep the floor. "They have to see the broom."
The youngsters imagined the broom and then some.
"Look at this line," Armbruster says indicating a flower collage, with a twisting brown shape which sets off the flower. "This is a lovely line, graceful," she says. "These are third graders. They cut out paper, folded it in some cases to create texture."
The children's works range from wildly imaginative Carnival characters, to pastels, pencil works in perspective, from a study of Leonardo da Vinci, to social concerns — gun violence and recycling. Armbruster says she selected 120 works from the students, who range from kindergarten to 6th grade.
"Children don't readily learn how to draw the human figure," Armbruster says. "They know they have two arms, but they don't always put them in the right places. It takes a while."
Pencil drawings depicting what happens from gun violence are not noteworthy from the youngsters' grasp of how to draw a body, but the messages resonate: "We need silence with gun violence;" "Finish School;" "Guns don't bring happiness;" Guns bring sadness"; and one picture of a mother, weeping, holding flowers over the casket of her child — the coffin reads RIP.
Armbruster, who has taught in the Virgin Island school system for 30 years, the last 20 at Abraham, shakes her head. "I have been to so many funerals of children who have been killed — children I have taught right here."
On to daVinci. "The children are learning how to draw a face," she points out. "These are sixth graders. We show them how to divide the face now. Earlier, they follow their own ideas. And I'm teaching da Vinci so that they will be able to recognize the artist with the manner in which he paints."
That's a pretty big order for a 10- or 11-year-old. But Armbruster says the sixth graders take to it.
The Carnival characters could outdo a lot of the actual troupes. They're kind of an amalgam of what the youngsters have grown up with. Lots of clowns, Indians, jesters, some elaborately masked in poses that defy gravity (and the human body).
Armbruster says the youngsters love to come up on the stage and identify their handiwork. "And they'll stand back and criticize the works. Really, like little art critics."
The show will be up through Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Another group of Carnival drawings is on display at McDonald's Lockhart Gardens location.
Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Host Adisha Penn recaps the week's biggest headlines while Consider the Source correspondent Christopher McDonald sits down in the studio with Education Commissioner Nominee Dionne Wells-Hedrington. ... See MoreSee Less

Load more
May 23, 2009 -- The stage at Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School is set, but there's no curtain to raise on this show. The stage walls abound with art -- fanciful, imaginative and some quite sophisticated -- from the students.
Art teacher Julie Armbruster talks about teaching the creative process. "It takes a lot of practice at first," she says. "You have to capture the imagination of the children, their inner responses, not an intellectual response. You have to let them see the drama around them. For instance," she takes an imaginary broom to sweep the floor. "They have to see the broom."
The youngsters imagined the broom and then some.
"Look at this line," Armbruster says indicating a flower collage, with a twisting brown shape which sets off the flower. "This is a lovely line, graceful," she says. "These are third graders. They cut out paper, folded it in some cases to create texture."
The children's works range from wildly imaginative Carnival characters, to pastels, pencil works in perspective, from a study of Leonardo da Vinci, to social concerns -- gun violence and recycling. Armbruster says she selected 120 works from the students, who range from kindergarten to 6th grade.
"Children don't readily learn how to draw the human figure," Armbruster says. "They know they have two arms, but they don't always put them in the right places. It takes a while."
Pencil drawings depicting what happens from gun violence are not noteworthy from the youngsters' grasp of how to draw a body, but the messages resonate: "We need silence with gun violence;" "Finish School;" "Guns don't bring happiness;" Guns bring sadness"; and one picture of a mother, weeping, holding flowers over the casket of her child -- the coffin reads RIP.
Armbruster, who has taught in the Virgin Island school system for 30 years, the last 20 at Abraham, shakes her head. "I have been to so many funerals of children who have been killed -- children I have taught right here."
On to daVinci. "The children are learning how to draw a face," she points out. "These are sixth graders. We show them how to divide the face now. Earlier, they follow their own ideas. And I'm teaching da Vinci so that they will be able to recognize the artist with the manner in which he paints."
That's a pretty big order for a 10- or 11-year-old. But Armbruster says the sixth graders take to it.
The Carnival characters could outdo a lot of the actual troupes. They're kind of an amalgam of what the youngsters have grown up with. Lots of clowns, Indians, jesters, some elaborately masked in poses that defy gravity (and the human body).
Armbruster says the youngsters love to come up on the stage and identify their handiwork. "And they'll stand back and criticize the works. Really, like little art critics."
The show will be up through Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Another group of Carnival drawings is on display at McDonald's Lockhart Gardens location.
Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.