Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inspiring Art: Student Artwork on Display at Redmond Library

Artwork from Rose Hill Elementary students is now on display through February at the Redmond Library. The artwork is the result of an Inspiring Art: Redmond Library showcase art appreciation initiative funded by the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, which has funded this effort for the past three years.

Chris Banks, a local artist and para-educator, has developed a series of lessons based on classic works of art. Each lesson focuses on key elements of art, such as color, line, pattern, shape, and texture. His work at Rose Hill Elementary has inspired his students to create this remarkable collection of art.

Student Artwork
One of the student art sessions focused on Impressionist art, especially the landscapes of Claude Monet. The following art was created using watercolor and dry pastels on rag paper:

Inspiring Art: Monet study

Students are encouraged to create art based on their own individual interpretations. The result is a very personal expression of art:

Inspiring Art: student creating art

One 6th grade student that Chris Banks has worked with since 2nd grade based her art on the work of Mark Chagall, using watercolors and charcoal on paper. “This is a remarkable drawing and painting, and shows how much she has grown in her abilities. It is based, as Chagall’s work was, on personal history and culture, hence her ‘Aztec’ roots are reflected.”

Inspiring Art: Chagall study

For more images of student artwork, see Newest Student Artwork on Chris’ myspace site.

About Chris Banks
Chris Banks, an artist by training, came to Rose Hill Elementary as an art docent in 2003. This was a major change from a career in the publishing business. He first conducted art classes with 2nd graders and Special Education students in 2003-04, and again in 2004-05. In 2004 he joined the staff of Rose Hill as a para-educator, helping students attain their basic educational objectives (reading, writing, mathematics). He is now in his sixth year at the school.

In the following photo, Chris shows brush technique to a 5th grade student:

Inspiring Art: Chris showing brush technique

Chris’s art is influenced by the natural world and its forms. “This one was inspired by a visit to the Palm Desert in California last year. I was so moved that when I returned home, I planted palm trees in my yard.”

Inspiring Art: Palm Desert Sunset

Chris has also been inspired by his foreign travels, such as his trip to China that included a visit to see the Terracotta Army figurines in Xi’an. About his painting entitled Imperial Guard, he says, “There’s a degree of unfinished-ness about it, intentionally so.”

Inspiring Art: Imperial Guard

For more info on Chris Banks and his art, see his myspace site, El Viejo.

Redmond Library Board


Laurie Francis said...

what great art--and teaching young kids!
About the terracotta army, my friend Laura said "Is that a policeman & a mob?"

Redmond Library Board of Trustees said...

Hi Laurie. Glad you like the posting about Chris and his work with children. Chris now lives in East Wenatchee and works for the Entiat School District.

The Terracota Army is an enormous collection of over 8,000 statues of soldiers depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Chris visited this impressive World Heritage Site on his trip to China. See the Wikipedia article on the Terracota Army for a good overview of this artwork (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta_Army).

In his painting, Chris includes a museum guard in front of the statues, which creates an interesting contrast of ancient versus modern figures.