Art Classes Create Student Positivity at Lawson

Story by Rylee Robinson

Dana Crable gives advice to a student about his clay project.

Dana Crable listens and answers questions about a student’s Sgraffitto clay project.

Positivity and expression are common things in Dana Crable’s art classroom at Lawson Elementary.

Students study different mediums of art like clay, printmaking, and paint with each increasing in difficulty as the student progresses through school. Students learn the specifics of each form along with different elements, materials, and artists that utilized these most.

Collaborative work is encouraged through various projects the class as a whole takes on. Younger students at Lawson will each paint a petal until it ends in a completed flower while the older students will utilize their printmaking skills in building a long street of each student’s building/house.

“I want my students to be able to communicate in a different way,” said Crable. “ There is a mutual trust involved, getting on their level working, and talking with them we can solve problems.”

When students are not participating in a team project, they are encouraged to pursue their own passions. By putting their own spin on projects to reflect their personality and skills.

The early exposure to key artistic concepts helps students improve their skills before advancing on to the next level. Current classes, like Clay One, at JHS teach the basics of clay and how to do certain projects. Some of the things learned include how to attach two pieces of clay to insure they will stay in place, or ‘scoring and slipping’. The Lawson students begin learning this method and more in second grade. Elementary arts time lets students further their exploration of creativity and provides them the tools to do so.

Related Arts classes like physical education, art, and music are offered to the elementary students as part of their daily schedule. These classes provide a change of pace for the students and a different type of learning environment.

“These classes are all about expression and art allows a student to do that,” said Crable. “Art reaches a student in a different way than music would. If they can’t be reached by music then [maybe] they can through art. Students learn to be proud of themselves and that it’s ok to make mistakes.”

Lawson students in Crable’s art class are learning encouragement and self-confidence in a way that allows them to convey passion and creativity.

“I hope my students stick with this as they get older,” said Crable. “I hope some form of art can affect them positively and can encourage them to be inventive.”