SchoolArts Magazine

FEB 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 37 Meme H., grade five. all over the city were given the oppor- tunity to create artwork inspired by t heir military experiences. Most of my students had a par- ent, relative, neighbor, or friends w ho serve in one of the military branches. Needless to say, patriotic feelings run high in this environ - ment. Having military-themed a rtworks created by our students on display only showed a glimpse of our gratitude towards those who serve. Making Art About the Military We began by discussing what it means to be a military child or have a military affiliation. We discussed different ideas and symbols that are associated with the military through which students might show a message of support, appreciation, or gratitude. We talked about how a message does not always have to have words; it can be just as powerful through imagery alone. Students came up with several thumbnail sketches for their ideas and we discussed their possible choices. After deciding on their final designs, students created their pieces, accom - panied by written artist statements. Students' artwork depicted scenes such as welcoming a parent home from deployment, seeing a family member off, missing someone who is serving, symbols of gratitude for what military members have endured, and love and respect for the country in which we all live. The artwork was shown for the third consecutive year at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach in April, the Month of the Military Child. Reflections This assignment allowed my students and myself to forge more personal connections with each other—to share common ground and experiences. Our classroom grew as a community as we learned of the unique experiences and views of each military child. It was truly a heartwarming assignment for everyone involved. Leigh Drake is a visual arts teacher at Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Vir- ginia. leigh.drake @vbschools.com N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relate artistic ideas and work with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen under- standing. W E B L I N K wtkr.com/2015/03/31/the-art-of- being-a-military-child-features-stu- dent-artwork-in-virginia-beach We talked about how a message does not alwa s have to have words; it can be just as powerful through imager alone. the average person will in their life- time. Their experiences are often b eyond that of students their own age. The high instance of military connections presents amazing opportunities for all of us at our school. A lot of these students have lived in so many different places that other children their age would never experience. This situation inspired a city-wide art exhibition and contest throughout Virginia Beach. Local Support and Appreciation The Art of Being a Military Child exhibit was open to all students in kindergarten through twelfth grade who go to school in the Virginia Beach Public School System. Students from

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