Connected. Active. Engaged.

I remember how excited I was for the first day of art class.

The teacher would send a note home to parents asking them to make sure to send along an old shirt that could get messy. MESSY! Being a child who loved to make things and get my hands grimy, the idea of needing an old shirt to get dirty was thrilling. The anticipation for all I would be able to feel, touch and create filled my little elementary heart with such joy!

My love for art began when I was young. I remember scribbling with crayons, experimenting with mixing colors to make a shiny brown or a glossy green. I can still feel the tip of each crayon pressed firmly flat and the frayed edges of the soft paper that cradled it. No longer a pointy tip to trace with, I began to play with textures as I colored. Soft, fuzzy centers set apart by the hard lines of the trees, squares and birds I drew.

Art has always been a part of me. It encompasses much of what I do. With it, I’ve learned to see beauty in things not always thought of as beautiful. To see meaning behind colors, textures or stature in a sculpture, moved by its muted silence. Art unleashes an inner creativity we are oftentimes unaware of. My art classes allowed me an opportunity to create, and show others what was on my mind when I didn’t really know myself.

The influence art has on a child’s life and development is immeasurable. Art allows inventiveness without boundaries- a freedom to truly color outside the lines. It helps with motor skills and language development, and improves academic performance. When students are given a paint brush, a slimy slab of clay or a swatch of fabric and glue, there is no stopping their imaginations!

And GRPS students have vividly colorful imaginations! If you haven’t yet had a chance to visit the 2017 CityWide Art Show, you still have some time. From clay and watercolors, to fabric and video, more than 1,800 pieces of student artwork is showcased. Through this incredible event, students were able to create without limitations – demonstrating to the viewer thought provoking installations, drawings and paintings, while exposing them to the mind of the artist.

Thanks to the generosity of individual donors and the community, the Student Advancement Foundation is able to provide much needed art supplies, like the ones featured in the CityWide Art Show, to GRPS schools. Teaching appreciation, observation and experimentation with the arts ensures that every child has an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

Want to help us continue to foster creative learning through arts education? Click here!

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