The PS 8 Auditorium has been transformed into a forest of Enchanted Trees thanks to PS 8’s imaginative kindergarten students and wonderful long-time teaching artist, Belinda Blum. The 14-week STUDIO in a School residency that culminated in an art exhibit and family presentation was a true delight for all involved. This year’s project tied into the kindergarten’s science study of trees, providing the students with new descriptive vocabulary and helping them explore the same subject from many different perspectives.
The Enchanted Tree Project began by heading outdoors to visit trees in our neighborhood and using artist pencils to draw from observation. Through this early process, the kids learned about lines, shapes, shading, and texture and honed their skills of observation. During the next phase, students used tempera paint to explore and learn about brushstrokes, shapes, texture, details, primary colors, and how to mix secondary, pastel and brown colors. Finally, the students experimented with collage and created wonderful trees with various types of paper. Through collage, they learned about ripping, cutting, shapes, arranging, composition, overlapping, gluing, texture and details. The final products were all so different and interesting. The students engaged in lively discussion about the process and wrote about what made their trees special. A big thank you to Ms. Belinda, the wonderful kindergarten teachers, and the PTA for supporting such a great program.
It is a joyous experience to see these young artists expressing themselves, making choices and exploring their creativity. The results filled the auditorium with a wonderful group of enchanting trees. — Belinda Blum
By Heather Morris-Wanderer
Teaching artist Belinda Blum is a professional artist who received her M.F.A. in painting from Mason Gross School of the Arts in 2006 and has been teaching art to children since 1999 when she began working for Studio in a School. Currently she also teaches at the School of Visual Arts and privately in her artist studio in Park Slope/Gowanus area, where she also runs a summer visual and performing arts camp called Brooklyn Arts for Kids.