Following up on this post and this news story, I visited the Highlands School District Arts Festival this afternoon. I found that the Art department of the Highlands School District had organized a marvelous afternoon for appreciating the many creations of middle school and high school students. In addition to the large areas in which the students' art was on display, there were a number of opportunities for creating artwork that day.
Outside, a number of children were painting a mural. A teacher had encouraged them to paint a large surface, and they were actively involved in placing color on color.
Inside, a team from the Mattress Factory was demonstrating how to make art with soap, a project that was based on a current installation at the MF of work by Ángel Delgado. Many children were actively engaged in fixing various objects into bars of soap around the room.
Also inside, a team from the Warhol Museum was showing how to create art in the style of Andy Warhol's silkscreens using a sheet of acetate and pieces of construction paper.
In another area one of the classes displayed silkscreened wallpaper inspired by the Elephant Wallpaper they had seen on a field trip to the Warhol. The students had made silkscreens of common objects and had made large pieces of posterboard with the repeating images in random locations.
There were displays of masks, bottle sculpure, paintings and drawings, all accompanied by statements from the artists describing what they had learned in the course of making the various pieces.
In an auditorium students were showing films they had made.
Through the middle of a hallway there was an installation entitled "The Path to the PSSA." PSSA is the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, an examination administered to students in grades 5, 8. and 11. Within two long areas cordoned off with yellow hazard tape were documents produced by the students: journals, assignments and notes.
I appreciated the vitality I observed at the Arts Festival. It was good to see so many people exploring different modes of self-expression.