Kent community students display works of art created through Kent State art education classes

Joanna Kamvouris

Young children scurry across the halls outside Rooms 212 and 214 in the Art Building, tugging the hands of their parents as they eagerly point to their works of art on display for the Art Education Practicum Exhibition.

Blue and green balloons decorate the hallways and brightly splattered paintings, colorful sculptures and glowing paper lanterns fill the exhibit rooms where art education students and parents gather to celebrate the work of these young artists-in-training.

The art education program hosts a practicum exhibition each semester to showcase the works of elementary school children in the Kent area who work with Art Education students to produce and discuss artwork. Maria Iafelice, graduate teaching assistant in the Art Education Department, said the exhibition seeks to educate the Kent community in more ways than one.

“The shows can inform non-art education students by showing them all the efforts that the art education students put in to educate youth about art,” Iafelice said. “Not only are art education students immersed in a variety of studio classes, but they also spend many hours writing, researching and preparing art lessons.”

Iafelice said Kent State’s program is highly recognized and offers students quality opportunities.

“The art education program at Kent State is one of the largest programs in Ohio and the faculty is dedicated to preparing future art educators,” Iafelice said.

Abbey Kish, junior art education major, said the art education majors work with 27 students from local school districts for nine weeks, teaching one lesson plan each Monday. She said the students put their imagination into each of their pieces.

“I think the work turned out really well,” Kish said. “Naturally they’re very attracted to color and they color very gestured with their whole arm. All of them did a really nice job.”

Danielle Daveant, junior art education major who taught 10- to 12-year-olds, said the kids worked with three different artworks and one theme.

“We talked about the artwork, the art history, and then we got to explain how to use the materials they would use for their project and how it tied into what they were going to be making, and then we would take about what they made at the end of the class,” Daveant said.

Daveant said the children learned about different relationships of the everyday. She said she taught them how to use textures with oil pastels and how to show emotions through the colors that they chose.

“We have a big umbrella theme that everyone has to work underneath,” Daveant said. “This year’s was ‘reflections.’ Each group of teachers gets to choose their sub-theme. We had ‘Moments in Time.’”

Daveant said she enjoys the art education program and the opportunity to work with children and inspire them to create new things and challenge themselves to new heights.

“Every time I come to class, I’m excited,” Daveant said. “The kids really love being here and I think it’s a great opportunity for them to make art after they’ve had a long day of school. It’s fun for them to get a new venue for them to express themselves.”

Isabel Samels, a student taught through the program, said she created several works of art, including a mask of herself and two animals that best depict her personality.

“We had to draw two different animals that describe us. I drew a cat because I’m quiet, and a squirrel because I’m fast.”

Isabel said that after the 10-week program, she learned that sometimes, unexpected materials can be used to create works of art.

“You can use a bunch of recycled things that I never knew you could use and you can make something that actually looks good,” Isabel said.

Contact Joanna Kamvouris at [email protected].