Custer Elementary art now showing

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The 2019 Custer Elementary Art show at the Custer County Courthouse brings artwork from first, second and fifth grade artists. Along with the South Dakota Visual Arts standards, the students have been studying many different historical artists that have influenced their work for the show.

The first graders have been “engaging in creative art making by using observation and investigation (SD Visual Art Standard CR 1.1)” as they studied Giuseppe Arcimboldo for their fruit and vegetable-style illustration. Arcimboldo was a whimsical Italian artist from the 15th century who painted portraits of nobles using his knowledge of botany, flora and fish. The first graders enjoyed observing his paintings and find the many different veggies and fruits used to comprise the nose, eyes and other features. The students sketched their designs first, using their favorite choices, with bananas and watermelons the favorites among the students. First graders learned  how to use colored pencils or crayons in a correct way that made their work bright and colorful.

The second graders enjoyed viewing the artist Stuart Davis, who is a well-known early 20th century modern painter. The students learned of Davis’ paintings which feature observations from a booming America in the 1940s and ’60s. The second graders found hidden letters and numbers as well as shapes and bright colors. The students decided to create artwork based on different shapes and colors to a design of the alphabet. They designed and illustrating their alphabet using the elements of art—such as color, shape and line.  This resulted in collage-like and colorful pieces that are unique to each student.

Do you know the physical difference between aspen and birch trees? The fifth graders are very familiar with the differences now.  They learned that aspen have more black “eyeball” type marks or knots on their bark, versus the birch that have the small lines. The students used basic tools such as masking tape, to create a “resist” for their cool watercolor paintings. They also experimented with small drops of rubbing alcohol on the watercolors to get different effects on the paint’s reaction.

After peeling off the tape, students discussed light sources and shadow locations that are cast on the trees. Some students painted aspen strictly, or a combination of both types of trees.

A reception for the students will be held Thursday, April 28, from 4-6 p.m. in the Custer County Courthouse Art Gallery. Refreshments for this reception will be provided by Custer Senior Center.