The art works on display at the Lawrence Public Library are not only the creative expressions of local elementary students but ways for them to remember what they've learned in math, science, history and other subjects.
The annual elementary school art exhibit, which includes the works of kindergartners through sixth-graders from throughout the Lawrence School District, will be on display until Nov. 15 at the library, 707 Vt. The exhibit includes about 125 works, including clay sculptures, masks, paintings and drawings.
Elementary art teachers say many of the works incorporate what the students are learning in the classroom.
For example, said Quail Run teacher Laurie McLane-Higginson, the school's sixth-graders are studying ancient history, so they did a painting of an Egyptian sarcophagus.
"THEY LOOKED at the hieroglyphics that we studied and figured out little messages to put in the work," McLane-Higginson said.
The school's fifth-graders, on the other hand, are studying colonial history, so those students created limners, an artform from colonial times.
McLane-Higginson said some colonial artists would spend the winter months drawing the bodies and backgrounds for portraits, but leave off the faces. Then, when the weather was more pleasant, the artists would travel around and draw people's portraits, inserting their faces in the background of their choice.
Alan Brummell, art teacher at Schwegler School, said some of his students made "water-striders," three-dimensional paper insects painted over with water colors.
BRUMMELL said the students had studied the body parts of insects and spiders and incorporated what they learned into their art.
Said McLane-Higginson of combining art with homework, "It makes the kids a lot more inspired to learn, and it helps them to ingest the information and more thoroughly understand it. It just makes a lot more sense."
A districtwide secondary schools art exhibit will run Nov. 17-30 at the library.