NGA Partnership Encourages Children Artists
By Prelli Williams
Last March 5, it seemed that the National Gallery of Art moved to J.C. Nalle Elementary School in Southeast Washington as attendees marveled at the student Art exhibition of clay sculptures created by fifth grade students while the fourth graders recited Haiku poems as they stood beneath Drip paintings in the main corridor.
Principal Kim Burke said that a team of fifth grade teachers had submitted a proposal to the NGA, then the school was interviewed, and were finally selected out of eleven other schools that went through the process leading to a partnership between J. C. Nalle Elementary School and the National Gallery of Art.
Sara Mark Lesk, Coordinator of Art Around the Corner said that Nalle students visited the National Gallery of Art multiple times to experience works of art, develop their critical thinking skills through active looking, and explore creativity through art making. All lessons complied with the DCPS curriculum.
Student Brianna Hooks delivered the Welcome Address and the Gallery teachers presented certificates to eighty-six fourth and fifth grade participants. “This is awesome,” said Prelli Williams of Ward 7 Arts Collaborative to teachers Ms. Jones and Ms. Preston as Dr. Buaful, Ms. Staffer, Ms. Surles watched the fifth grade perform “A Day at the NGA” inspired by Art Around the Corner, and directed by Ms. Bailey.
A family activity making Clay Creatures ended with a dessert reception. The Mark and Carol Hyman Fund, The Mead Family Foundation, and the Janice H. Levin Fund made Art Around the Corner possible.