What to Do When the Party is Over? Make Art!


Pink cupcakes and heart-shaped cookies and Valentine’s candies and Valentines……and then After-School Art Club!  Too good to be true?  No, seriously. Last Thursday just happened to be Valentine’s Day as well as Art Club.  Mr. Kerr’s third-graders had a fabulous after-party celebrating African American History Month.

We talked about the collage artworks of Romare Bearden.  Then each participant created their own radial-design, valentine art piece by cutting, tearing magazine strips, copies of sheet music and tissue paper, gluing and adding details with crayon.

XXOO, 3rd Grader's Collage Inspired by Romare Bearden

3rd Grader’s Collage Inspired by Romare Bearden

Students were so involved and creative.  What a difference  these art experiences have made in these youngsters lives ….in less than a year.

If you teach a person art, they will art for life!  With these students, I see the evidence of increased confidence, creativity, problem-solving and being able to talk about decisions/choices in front of the group.




“You put down one color, it calls for another. You have to look at it like a melody.” Romare BeardenTo set the tone,  we also listened to jazz, Romare Bearden revealed by Branford Marsalis Quartet, from TSCPL CD collection.


Other books about Romare bearden in the stacks:







Betsy is the associate curator and museum educator at the Sabatini Gallery. She has an MFA from the University of Missouri with a major in Fibers. Betsy has taught art classes at UMKC, Kansas City Art Institute and Washburn University. As an artist, her work is sculptural fibers and focuses on ecological concerns such as the preservation of Kansas prairies in the Flint Hills.