Learning to see

St. George School students practice drawing skills with Port Clyde artist Sandra Dickson as part of “The Young Artists Program.”

by Julie Ryan and Natalie Gill

Over the past several years at the St. George School we have developed an after-school activity called “The Young Artists Program.” This extra-curricular program consists of serious, creative students who are interested in working with professional, local artists who teach the students skills in drawing, painting or clay work. This program is not just another art class, as it is designed to give students the opportunity to delve deep into a focused medium and explore it while working with a professional artist.

This school year, the Georges River Education Foundation (GREF) has donated money to our school so that we could hire a professional portrait artist—Sandra Dickson—to work with middle-level students who are serious about learning how to draw faces. She is working with us to help us learn “to see.” Drawing teaches people to observe beyond what they know, to slow things down. She helps students see the light and dark parts of a face and recognize shapes. The students love to see the difference between their first drawings during the four-week class compared to their last drawings. It really helps to feel encouraged when you can see how much you have improved!

This class has been enabling students to build confidence, strengthen learning skills and become less afraid to make mistakes because mistakes can help students learn.

Thank you GREF for your generous donation and thank you Sandra for working with our creative, talented students here at the St. George school!

(Ryan teaches art at the St. George School, where Gill is a 7th-grade student.)

PHOTO: Sonja Schmanska

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