“Where is it? Where is mine?” 9-year-old Akaylah Dennis shouted to her friends as she pulled her mom, Eugenia Dennis, by the arm into the cafeteria.A friend pointed, and Akaylah rushed to her mom, saying “There! There it is!” Dennis broke into a broad smile, saying “That is very nice,” hugging Akaylah close.Then she took a picture of Akaylah’s abstract self-portrait during the 2013 Winecoff Art and Music Night.Winecoff Elementary School was celebrating Youth Art Month and Music in Our Schools Month on March 12 with a combined art show and musical performance by the school’s second- and third-graders.Students from each of the six third-grade classes made abstract self-portraits with the help of Amy St. Aubin, a visiting artist from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in uptown Charlotte. Each print was sketched and drawn on silk screen with water-soluble crayons. The students then used wallpaper paste to transfer the prints to paper. The students all had to write artist statements below their prints. Akaylah’s said, in part, “When I create art I feel scared because I am afraid I will mess up. My favorite part of this project was being creative, because we didn’t need any help.”Nathaniel Bell, 7, nervously rolled and unrolled his tie as he looked at one of the self-portraits. He was about to join the other second-graders and parents who had filled the cafeteria to see the seven classes give a musical performance.Nathaniel and most of the students did fine as they sang several songs for their parents under the direction of music teacher Randi Skaggs. The crowd applauded as the students presented several songs.When their performance came to the final song, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” 8-year-old Zachary Weston started dancing in place.Zachary was so animated that a few of the parents began to laugh, which encouraged him to continue. When asked why he decided to dance during the song, he shrugged and replied, “Because it is something I like to do.”Art teacher Aimee Mills expressed gratitude to the event sponsors, including the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Cabarrus County Education Foundation, Kohl’s Cares Associates in Action and Sam’s Club in Kannapolis, as well as Karen Rice, who helped Mills organize the event.Dennis said she was impressed with the results.“This is great. Art is needed, and this is really great,” she said as she and other attendees looked at the portraits.
Friday, Mar. 22, 2013
Art and Music Night at Concord school stirs students’ pride in work
Eugenia Dennis, right, hugs her 9-year-old daughter, Akaylah, after seeing Akaylah's abstract self-portrait during the Art and Music Night at Winecoff Elementary School in Concord. MARTY PRICE
Seven-year-old Nathaniel Bell rolls and unrolls his necktie while pondering another student's abstract self-portrait during the Art and Music Night at Winecoff Elementary School inn Concord. MARTY PRICE
Alex Deese, 8, center, foreground, narrated the "Tears of the Dragon" as music teacher Randi Skaggs, right, directed the student chorus during Art and Music Night at Winecoff Elementary School in Concord. MARTY PRICE
Art teacher Aimee Mills, right, talks with Erica Somerwitz, school and community program manager with the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, at the end of Art and Music Night at Winecoff Elementary School in Concord. MARTY PRICE