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2:36 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

'Tis Gallery in Prescott puts spotlight on children's art

The STEPS Art School for Children exhibit features work created by children in the program and is on display through Jan. 14.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->(Courtesy photo)

The STEPS Art School for Children exhibit features work created by children in the program and is on display through Jan. 14.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->(Courtesy photo)

Since 2011, 'Tis Art Gallery, 235 N. Marina St., has been providing free art education classes to Prescott area children with a program known as 'Tis STEPS Art School for Children. Meant to help students develop enhanced academic skills, cultural awareness and increased sensitivity to the world, the program also sees the students creating new work meant to be displayed in a professional gallery setting. This year's show, the 'Tis STEPS Art School for Children Art Exhibit features 2-D and 3-D work by more than 90 students from ages 4 to 15 and is on display from Saturday, Jan. 2, through Thursday, Jan. 14.

The program's students are taught by four instructors, according to a press release from 'Tis Marketing and Program Director Patti Ortiz. Work presented by the students in the show reflects art the instructors have explored in their various classes. Melody McConaughy instructs 4-7 year olds, the release stated. She took them through an "Observing and Creating" class.

"They were introduced to line drawing to music and a story about mice, 'all things tissue paper' collage, 'all things paint,' 'all things fish,' 'all things bird' and 'all things final,'" Ortiz wrote in the release.

Students ages 7 to 9 were introduced to the world of 3-D art with a twist of art history by Susan Lutz, the release stated. The students learned about Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso and Joseph Cornell while creating mobiles, polymer clay creatures and origami boxes. Lutz also has a 2-D class, according to the release. They explored media by such people as Andy Warhol, Walt Disney, Albrecht Durer and Michelangelo.

There was also a world culture series, taught by Rebecca Knows the Ground, the release stated. She taught students ages 6 to 7 the Japanese art of windsocks, suminagashi and gyotaku and instructed students ages 7 to 9 on patterns and symbols by studying items like kente cloths from Ghana and Day of the Dead masks and sugar skulls from Mexico. Knows the Ground even had a class with students ages 10 and up learning about the art of collage, the release said. The class used stream-of-consciousness games, environmental rubbings and the artwork of Robert Rauschenberg.

But collages weren't taught only by Knows the Ground. Elynn Colaianni taught the style to her 4- to 6-year-old class.

"The students were introduced to elements of principle and design through the art of collage and book making and Eric Carle's books were studied," Ortiz wrote in the release, also mentioning her 10 and up class focused on 3-D creations "with clay, found object assemblage, paper structures and marriage of metals."

There is an artists reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9.

By Jason Wheeler. Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2037, or at 928-642-5277.