Aldine Schools Take Part in Annual EveryArtist Live! Event

Aldine Schools Take Part in Annual EveryArtist Live! Event
Posted on 11/23/2015
The national event raises awareness about the importance of art in child development. Art increases academic performance and develops creative thinking.

Aldine ISD students across the district recently took part in EveryArtist Live! More than 40 AISD K-12 campuses had students showcase their creativity.

The one-day event celebrates each child’s artistic abilities. The event ignites young artists’ imagination. It sparks original works around a common theme. The 2015 theme, “What Sparks Your Creativity?” had students creating a wide variety of artworks. Each piece represented something personal to students. There are images of family, music, pets and identity.

According to Dr. Michaelann Kelley, more than 50 art teachers took part. Each student received a square piece of paper to create a project. The students’ artworks created many mosaic displays in classrooms, buildings and campuses. Several artworks are on display in the Gallery at the Aldine Staff Development Center (2330 S. Victory Street; next door to Carver High School). Kelley is the program director of fine arts.

More than 7,000 Aldine ISD students produced artwork for EveryArtist Live!

Brendan O’Connell started the initiative. O’Connell is internationally known as an artist who explores the consumer experience. He has appeared on “CBS News” and “The Colbert Report.” The New Yorker profiled him in 2013. His Wal-mart paintings have been on exhibit in New York, Shanghai, Toronto, and Boston. Art in America andThe Boston Globe have both reviewed his works. O’Connell’s work can range between $1,000-$1,200 and as high as $40,000.

His paintings may be out of reach for most average Wal-mart shoppers. But O’Connell believes everyone is an artist. With that belief, O’Connell along with like-minded partners, created EVERYARTIST.ME. The nonprofit project is a movement to support artistic expression in every child. O’Connell and EVERYARTIST.ME started the EveryArtist Live! Event as a way to spark creativity. But also to raise awareness about the importance of art in child development.

O’Connell visited Aldine ISD campuses in 2013. That was the year the event went national. This year, more than 46 states took part. In Texas, H-E-B sponsored the event.

Kelley has been active about the importance of art in education. She works to encourage art in cross-curricular education.

EveryArtist Live! is a fantastic event,” said Kelley. “Art fuels our creativity. This is another great way to make everyone aware in the community how important art is to learning.

The research backs the importance of art. According to many nationally recognized studies, participation in the arts improves problem-solving abilities. It also correlates to higher test scores. Studies show that low-income children who take part in arts education had higher grades. They also had higher attendance records than their peers who did not take part. Researchers have also found that children that take part develop improved attention and focus. This leads to expanded cognitive ability.

Art has the capacity to motivate students,” said Kelley. “Educators are aware of the benefits of art education. They are advocating for expanding art programs and cross-curricular teaching.

Children need opportunities to develop their creativity. Dr. Bonnie Cramond agrees. She states motivation in childhood is a better predictor of adult talent than ability. She is a professor of gifted and creative education at the University of Georgia. Cramond also served as director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development.

The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking noted long-term effects. Since the 1960s, it has been the standard-bearer in assessing creativity in children. There is a strong connection between childhood creativity and creative output as an adult. Fostering creativity at a young age is vital. In fact, the results of the Torrance Tests are also better indicators of lifetime creative accomplishment than childhood IQ.

As our world becomes more complex and problems become more challenging,” Cramond said. “The need for creative individuals to address these situations in innovative ways increases. If creativity goes unrecognized, both the creative individual and society lose. Discovery and development of creativity should be primary goals of families and schools.

The arts are critical to the development of young minds. The arts increase our capacity to innovate as children and adults. — EVERYARTIST.ME

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