Welcome to the gallery; please don't touch the art.
Art connoisseurs can take a visual trip through the newest museum to hit town, without leaving home. It's the New York Elementary Web site of student art. The site was recently installed by upper elementary students, art teacher Lauretta Hendricks-Backus and local artist Amy Carlson.
``They wanted a classical museum,'' Carlson said. ``The idea of how the page looks is all theirs.''
The gallery contains 60 pieces of art, at least one contributed by each student in fourth through sixth grades at the school.
Web surfers can log onto the site and scan ``rooms'' devoted to calligraphy, portraits, two-dimensional art, cartoons and still life.
There's even a cafe, bathrooms, coat room and lost and found.
Before constructing the site, students took a field trip to the Nelson Atkins and Kemper museums of art last month.
``I told them not to just look at the art, but to look at the galleries and how they're set up,'' Carlson said. ``They really noticed a lot of what was going on, so when we came back we started working on the technical side; how to scan, how to get things into a computer.''
For Hendricks-Backus it was a learning experience.
``We just got the computers this year, so we learned right along with the kids,'' she said. ``It's great now that it's all together and we can get on it.''
Students can share their work with family members in other cities and states, and see what their classmates contributed to the site.
``It's fun to see everybody's art work,'' fourth-grader John Wiley said.
John helped find and display background screens and has two pieces of work in the museum.
For sixth-grader Willie Backus, the fun was in drawing the ``guards'' who warn sight-seers not to touch the art.
``I learned how to make a Web page, and I didn't know how to do that before,'' he said. ``I like it.''
The site is set to become a permanent fixture for the school, with updates from year to year.
``I'm hoping to be able to put in new art every year,'' Carlson said.
The address for the site is: http://www.usd497.k12.ks.us/
--JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.