SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 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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Page 26 of 54

22 SUMMER 2019 SchoolArts PAGE SPONSORED BY: F O C U S I N A s any teacher will tell you, students learn better when they draw personal meaning from their subject matter. Art teachers spend a lot of time on tech- nique, but what if they could inte- grate that technical knowledge into an emotional, reflective, and exciting process that emphasizes visual story- telling and community engagement? The ArtEffect Project, an initiative of the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes (LMC), does just that. Celebrating Unsung Heroes The ArtEffect Project is an art compe- tition for U.S. and international stu- dents in grades six through twelve that encourages students to create positive change in their classrooms, communi - ties, and the world through art. It pres- ents more than $15,000 in cash prizes. Since 2015, thousands of students have participated in the program, cre - ating works of art to celebrate unsung heroes. As part of each submission, students are asked to think critically about their creative process, first choosing and researching an individ - ual whose life and work is inspiring to them, and then writing an impact paper about how the unsung hero's contributions are reflected in their art. In this way, students not only create beautiful art, they also gain exposure to character education and ethics. Heroic Tribute Liran Hu, ninth-grader at Chatta- hoochee High School in Johns Creek, Georgia, won the grand prize in the competition's inaugural year for his oil painting of Jacob Valentine, an environmental activist who saved the Mississippi sand hill crane from extinction when construction of Interstate 10 during the 1970s threat- ened the bird's natural habitat. The extensive research and imagination Hu utilized in bringing a largely unknown story to life taught him the importance of deeply connecting with the subject matter of his art. In 2018, the grand prize was awarded to twelfth-grade student Gabriel Van Allen for her painting of Holocaust unsung hero Pavel Weiner. In her paper for the competition, Van Allen writes, "Those who encounter pain, difficulty, and turmoil and then stand up and continue walking are the ones who guide our society as beacons of hope and perseverance. These peo - ple are strong, powerful, and not often what one would expect. One of them is named Pavel Weiner and he was only ten years old when he made the choice to stand and keep walking." Get Involved This year, twenty-four works were selected as finalists and ranged in medium from fine art and digital drawing to mixed media and sculp - ture. The 2019 grand prize, announced in April, went to high-school senior America Garcia for her inspiring portrait of Hiawatha, a leader and co- founder of the Iroquois Confederacy. Winning artworks are displayed in LMC's Hall of Unsung Heroes, a state-of-art museum in Fort Scott, Kansas. The ArtEffect Project runs from September 1, 2019 to Febru- ary 15, 2020 and is open to U.S. and international students in grades six through twelve. All guidelines and a free art lesson plan for teachers can be found at www.lowellmilkencenter. org/competitions/arteffect-project. Sarah Haufrect is director of communica- tions for the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes. The ArtEffect Project Established in 2007, the Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes works to transform classrooms and communities through student-driven project-based learning that discovers unsung heroes from histor nd teaches the power of one to create positive change. Sarah Haufrect Hiawatha by America Garcia, the 2019 grand prize – winner.

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