On April 9 and 10, seventh grade students from six local Catholic Schools visited the McNicholas campus to work with students and teachers on Art Day.
The 32 middle school students came from Immaculate Heart of Mary, Guardian Angels, Saint Andrew Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Saint Bernadette, Saint Louis, and Saint Mary Schools. They chose two of three classes to visit: Drawing and Painting, Ceramics, and Photography. McNicholas students paired up with each seventh grader and led them through various projects. Julie Dumont, Admissions Assistant and an organizer of the event, said it was a good experience not only for the visiting seventh graders, but also for the McNick art students.
“It was a great opportunity for the McNick students to share their experiences with the visiting students, as well as showcase their work and all that McNicholas has to offer,” Dumont said.
In the three classes, the McNick students demonstrated what they are learning in each class and helped each middle schooler complete a similar project. In Drawing and Painting, the focus was on Expressionism. The students studied the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky and listened to the music of Johnny Cash for inspiration, then created an art piece based on the ideas that popped into their heads. In Ceramics, McNick students showed the seventh graders different techniques for spinning a bowl. Then, they assisted the visiting students in creating their own piece of pottery. Finally, in Photography, the McNick students taught the visitors how to develop a print in the dark room and how to manipulate digital photos.
The day was not only a fun learning experience for the visiting seventh graders, but also for the McNick students who said they had a great time working with the enthusiastic young artists.
“They were really interested in everything,” said senior Francine Wright, Photography and Drawing and Painting student. “My favorite part was experiencing it one-on-one with them and teaching them things they didn’t know about art.”
Some have a new appreciation for what our teachers do after the experience. “We got to see how hard it was to teach them,” said junior Maggie Danker, a Ceramics student. “It was cool to help them experience what we do.”
Dumont said that after the success of this first Art Day, they want to keep it going. “It seemed like all the students had a great time,” Dumont said. “We’re definitely planning to bring it back next year.”