Art project lays roadmap to career options

May 17, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Benjamin Eskonazi, a third-grader at Cougar Ridge Elementary School, weaves an upholstery for a chair made out of paper with art show coordinator Sari Israel. By Laura Geggel

Drawings of girls at the beach, apples half in shadow and rainbows stretching over green fields decorated the annual art show at Cougar Ridge Elementary School on May 5.

About 100 students participated in the show, and they came with their families and friends, completing a scavenger hunt about the show and answering questions, such as finding a painted mermaid and naming the type of paint art teacher Cyndi Moring used in her piece.

Students also dove into hands-on projects. They folded origami cranes for Japan and folded long strips of paper together into mat, creating a colorful upholstery for a chair Moring has since stationed in the art room.

“It looks really cool,” Moring said. “The kids really love it and they can’t believe they can sit on it.”

Fifth-grader Katherine Lin painted a watercolor picture of an autumn branch with red, yellow and orange leaves.

“I like autumn. It’s my favorite season, because it’s really pretty outside and it’s still warm out,” Lin said. “And we’re not bored all of the time because we have school.”

Her classmate, fifth-grader Sam Lee, drew an abstract post-modern piece with charcoal and pastels. He draws “because I want to do auto mechanics and design. My mom said if I wanted to do that, I should start drawing now.”

Drawing is a good way to prepare for a career in car design, and drawing can also spruce up a refrigerator or a blank wall. First-grader Kathleen Henneuse used markers and pastels to create a series of rainbow-and-flower drawings.

She drew them “because I just thought it would look pretty and be very nice.”

Using a different medium, second-grader Alexandra Dunn-Cordova, used a pencil to create a drawing of two girls building a sandcastle on a beach, and another of flowers blooming. She sketched the landscape and flowers to celebrate the warmer weather of spring, she said.

The fourth- and fifth-grade chorus sang during the show, turning it into the multidimensional Spring Arts Walk, parent coordinator Sari Israel said.

Professional photographer Chris Jordan submitted a slideshow of his environmental artwork to the Cougar Ridge show, showing students photos chock full of empty bottles and used light bulbs, teaching viewers about material waste.

Like French painter George Seurat’s pointillism, Jordan’s photos are composed of tiny points — a giant collage shows 60,000 plastic bags, the number produced in the United States every five seconds. Another photo depicts 426,000 cellphones, the amount of cellphones retired in the country every day.

Each student who submitted an art piece received a ribbon. Every year, the art show not only brings out artists but also patrons, some of whom make art for the show the next year.

“I think it’s a way that children can share what they do, whether it’s part of a classroom-sponsored thing, or whether it’s something they’re doing at home,” Moring said.

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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