Teri Vance: Students learn art of imperfection

Reed Barbarigos, 9, worked on a watercolor painting Thursday.

“I’m making a forest, and I’m trying to make a lake right now,” he said. “I think mine is beautiful.”

Students at Fritsch Elementary School spent the day learning different techniques, such as ceramics, oil pastels and watercolor, from four artists in residence.

“Art brings a new perspective and a different way of looking at things for each child,” said Sarah Billings, a member of the school’s parent-teacher association who organized the activity for the second year. “We also set aside an extended amount of time where they get to just focus on wonder and imagination and let their own creativity shine.”

Tina Tyrrell, a fine artist who teaches at the Brewery Arts Center, brought in recycled paint drop cloths for the students to use to paint portraits for banners or flags.

“I wanted them to do something that is thoughtful, imaginative and using all-natural, recycled materials,” Tyrrell said. “It was intended to be imperfect so the student can just have fun.”

Dante Whatley, 9, took the message to heart.

“We just use our imaginations,” he said. “Look at mine, it looks like a deformed Easter Bunny. You can do anything and everything. The sky is the limit.”

Brooke Saavedra, 9, created a portrait of a mix between Medusa and an alien.

“I really like mythology and Medusa,” she explained.

Venessa Venegas, 10, didn’t have a plan.

“I just started thinking about what my hand wanted to do,” she said. “I let it run wild.”

Just finishing up this year’s standardized tests, the students said the immersion in art was a refreshing break.

“You can do whatever you want,” said Deepti Arun, 10. “Whatever you do, it’s not wrong.”


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