Update on Be Inspired Grants (BIG news) Arts in Education during the Pandemic

Kimberly Granville, AIG, 3-5

Polk Central, Tryon, Sunny View Elementary Schools

2020-2021 Funded Project Mathematical Mosaics

Kim used grant funding to purchase materials to learn how Rubik’s Cubes work and to make art using the concept of mosaics.

Happy New Year! Upon return from Christmas break I started discussions with my students about mosaics, pointillism, and pixels. The children have been quite receptive.  We’ve compared and contrasted what each entails, looked at examples from around the world, and started creating. One of our remote teachers (Kendal Stoney) was previously a middle school and high school art teacher so she presented a lovely synopsis briefly explaining each. We our due to receive our Rubik’s cubes the first week in February and the children are excited. I am truly thankful, especially during this pandemic, to have the opportunity to provide a creative outlet for my students. To help them learn vocabulary, math standards, to gain tenacity, and to see the beauty in art and our world. Thank you for helping in the process with the BIG grant.Here are a few pictures from this week. These are pictures with the Tryon Elementary first grade group. 

This year teaching with my students has been different in that I’ve had to see students by class and not just by area for differentiation.  We have needed to become virtual in learning opportunities, presentations, playing chess, and even playing with a virtual Rubik’s cube. I’ve had to rethink how we will learn together just as every teacher facing virtual/remote teaching. I do think the arts helps us think freely, take ourselves to a different place, see the world in a different way, see the relationship between art and math, and help us meditate and cope even for just a short amount of time. Art allows freedom of thought, perception, emotional release, interpretation, and especially in a year such as 2020, why not learn standards, explore, and support emotional well being through art. I myself thoroughly enjoy math, art, and travel and appreciate the chance to show a little of the world through art. To show how subjects change, societal interests may change, mediums used to express one’s creativity, and with this project technology advancements as well. Making connections, growing, reflecting, creating are all part of a human need and part of evolving, gaining knowledge and being able to add to and help one’s community. What a gift and what a responsibility we all have.

I will send more pictures as we progress and will be sending them to the Polk Schools website as well. I thank you for the grant and for the opportunity to engage in learning with my students through art. 

Arts in Education: a little taste of Excellence

Showcase of Excellence, TFAC’s annual exhibit featuring high school artists, was cancelled for 2021. We plan to bring the show back next year. In the meantime, we heard from Dorman High School Art Teacher Dr. Frances Vaughan about what the show has provided for her students.

Dr. Frances Vaughan, Art teacher, Dorman High School, Spartanburg, SC

The TFAC Showcase of Excellence has provided my students with an opportunity to display their work and share it with the Tryon community and beyond. Students who attended the show have gained a sense of pride and confidence in their artistic abilities… and the cash prizes made them smile too! They also enjoyed the aspect of getting to see so many other students’ works from the area.

I will miss the show this year because it is often the only show where we get to compete and have comradery with schools from both North and South Carolina. I live in the area (Campobello) and teach at Dorman High School, so it is always fun to have my students from Spartanburg get to visit my local community. The show is always impeccably organized, beautifully displayed, and in a great location.

  • Dr. Vaughn shared some photos of her students’ work this year that would have made it into the exhibit:
Samantha Weber: Grade 12 Dorman High School Teacher: Dr. Frances Draughn
Artist: Kriti Baral; Grade 12 Dorman High School Teacher Dr. Frances Draughn