Consortium students show who's king and queen

Art program taps into creativity
Kyle Mariner of Lewes talks about the paintings he created during a VSA Delaware art program. His mother Desiree Ware stands next to him. BY MELISSA STEELE
April 18, 2013

Brightly colored kings and queens filled framed canvasses recently as Cape Henlopen High School was transformed into an impromptu art gallery featuring the work of Sussex Consortium students.

"They had a great time learning about the arts," said Jennifer Gunther, executive director of VSA Delaware, the group that organized the art program with the help of a Carl M. Freeman grant.

About 20 consortium students participated in the program, which exposed them to a variety of media, Gunther said.

High school art teacher Collen Lowe said she used paintings by Georges Roualt, an early 20th-century artist whose works are considered examples of Fauvism – a style exemplified by the use of strong color. Students also used clay to create coiled containers.

"They liked the painting the most. They don't always get a chance to get messy," Lowe said.

Painting and working with clay helps with fine motor skills, while composing an art piece complements cognitive abilities, said Nicole Zechman, teaching assistant.

"They responded to matching colors and arranging colors," she said. "Creating the artwork made them feel good about what they did."

About a dozen paintings were professionally framed and will be displayed at various venues throughout the state. The first stop will be at Delaware State University's art center. Overall, Gunther said the students' work will receive wide visibility and might even pay off.

"Someone may be interested in buying their artwork," she said.