The Penn State School of Visual Arts’ Saturday School Exhibition is on view through Saturday, April 29 at the Edwin W. Zoller Gallery. The exhibition showcases work in multiple media produced by students ages 4 -18 enrolled in classes taught by advanced Art Education majors under the direction of faculty and graduate assistants over a period of eight weeks. Free and open to the public, a closing reception at the gallery will be held Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with light refreshments being served.
One of SoVA’s treasured gems, Saturday School is an opportunity for local children and teens to come together to explore ideas and materials. The program focuses on approaches to learning art that are innovative and exciting, and help students experience art in many forms. Classes are offered in both Spring and Fall semesters, running Saturday mornings from 9 AM – 11 PM, and are designed for students at each grade level from preschool through adolescence.
“These students become part of a community of artists, who support one another's interests and ideas,” said Christine Thompson, faculty member in Art Education. “Having two hours to work with students every week allows us to do more complicated and long term projects than are possible in the public schools, and we focus on expanding students' experiences with traditional and newer media and technologies.”
Each classroom explore a particular theme or topic, but this semester’s six student teachers planned curricula within the larger theme of Abstr(action). Emily Smith worked with Preschool students, focusing on movement; Alyssa Pittenger taught Kindergarteners, with a focus on the body; Kelsi Silliman introduced words and calligraphy to first and second graders; Shannon Tarr worked with third through fifth graders on the theme of energy; Taylor Buchta’s middle school class focused on sound; and Mary Cate Fruehan’s high school students created wearables. Working with the student teachers as mentors were graduate teaching assistants Felix Rodriguez and Min Gu.