IRMO, SC – Oak Pointe Elementary School held their 10th annual Celebrate the Arts Day on March 31. Students learned about various forms of art including theater, dance, music, creative writing and visual arts. They watched demonstrations, spoke with professional artists and created their own artwork.
“Teaching our students about art, music, dance and much more provides experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime,” explained Oak Pointe Elementary Principal Cassy Paschal. “The students get to see these artists and interact with them to learn more about their craft. Arts Day is an incredible learning opportunity for our students!”
A performance by the Chapin High School Jazz Combo kicked off the event and music continued to fill the school throughout the day. A percussion performance by Jeff Holland had students clapping rhythms and beats, and students enjoyed listening and dancing to the band The Root Doctors during lunchtime. Music teacher Parker Hollister hoped this day would inspire students to find a new passion or possibly a career path.
“We try to give our students experiences they can carry with them past their time at Oak Pointe Elementary School, and we hope our annual Arts Day will be one of them,” Hollister said. “In a world demanding creative thinking in our workforce, it all starts with the arts and the creativity that sparks from it.”
Students had the opportunity to speak with many different kinds of artists and learn about their artwork and careers. The Greenville Little Theatre gave a performance of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Author Dinah Johnson guided students through the creative writing process, and Miss South Carolina, Rachael Wyatt, performed lyrical dance. Ceramic artist Jennifer Stott taught students how to use a pottery wheel to make bowls out of clay, jewelry maker Candace Catoe demonstrated how jewelry-making tools are used, and painter Sean McGuinness spoke with students about his artwork, which includes comics.
“Arts Day is important because it shows young minds the power and inspiration the arts have to offer,” said McGuinness. “Life is about creating and inspiring, no matter the medium.”
After learning from professionals, students were eager to create their own art. Vonzel’s World of Art showed students how to make spin art, and they were able to take their multi-color pieces home. Students also participated in a learn and draw lesson called Undersea Creatures by author, illustrator and cartoonist Mike Artell.
Oak Pointe Elementary School promotes the arts throughout the year. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has supported the local and state arts community by funding over $24,000 in performances and demonstrations over the past eight years.
Art teacher Wanda Floyd said, “By the time a fifth grade Oak Pointe student leaves our school, they will have seen at least 24 different performances from classical to contemporary and everything in between!”