Docents encourage love of art at 'Chair-y' Valley Elementary
Photos and story by Linda Sappington of the Leader
POLSON - Works of art emerged from young classrooms at Cherry Valley recently as docents taught children about various artists, then helped the students paint the artist's style on chairs.
To understand the style of artist Paul Gauguin, who often painted tropical scenes in warm, muted colors, students first practiced with palm trees created with pastels on black paper.
"We learned that Gauguin traveled to Tahiti," student Andria Donovan said. "When I look at his art, I feel like I could do it, too."
Student Hallie Hovenkotter learned that Gauguin's favorite color was red, and Colton Edson said Gauguin's paintings look "very hot, warm and relaxing."
"He mixed red and orange together a lot," student Shannon McGinnis said. "It makes me feel like that place is real, like I'm already there."
Pupils recently took turns painting a chair as Docent Edna Lemm mixed shades of red, yellow and green paint.
Fifteen classrooms recreated the styles of a variety of classic and contemporary artists such as Picasso, Monet, Miro, Van Gogh and Warhol.
Individual chairs, most of them donated by parents, also mimicked the style of art, with some chairs resembling stark contemporary lines and others classic feminine curves.
"The chairs lend themselves to certain artists," Lemm said. "For instance, the children are painting Grandma Moses on a rocking chair."
The chairs will be displayed throughout various Polson businesses from Jan. 2 through 16.
The chairs will fill the halls of Cherry Valley Elementary School Jan. 22 for Night of the Arts, which begins at 6 p.m. The evening will highlight 18 famous artists and all the art created by students through Cherry Valley's Art Docent Program.
© Leader Advertiser Copyright 2002
Leader Advertiser / P.O. Box 1090 / Polson, MT 59860