Zebulon Town Hall exhibit showcases student art

Ameera Badjan, 7, a first grader at East Wake academy posses with the picture she drew when KidzArt visited her school for Teacher Appreciation week.
Photo courtesy of KidzArt
By Isabella F. Vigilante

A selection of student artwork on exhibit at Zebulon’s town hall building is a product of KidzArt, a fine arts education program with franchises all over the country and internationally.

KidzArt was established in Ohio in 1993. The Eastern Wake County franchise was started in 2011 by Knightdale-based owner Lisa Swinson.

In May, the KidzArt mobile unit, consisting of an instructor and a small pull-cart full of art supplies, has been traveling to Wake County elementary and middle schools to provide short art lessons to students as part of an extended observance of Teacher Appreciation Week May 5 to 9.

The drawings on view at town hall since May 16 represent a sampling of those Teacher Appreciation Week creations, and were created by students from East Wake Academy and Zebulon Elementary School.

Some were students’ takes on a woodland scene depicting an owl perched on a tree-branch. The pictures were drawn on paper using high quality Prismacolor markers.

KidzArt classes use safe, non-toxic college- and professional-level art supplies that most school art classes don’t see until high school. Other KidzArt classes and activities involve work with watercolor paints, oil pastels, and clay.

The KidzArt motto is, “If you can dream, you can draw,” and the program promotes the attitude that art can be a fun form of expression for all.

KidzArt also subscribes to a “no mistakes” philosophy. Students are taught to work around what might commonly be perceived as errors, rather than stress out or start over. The goal is for students to have a fun, relaxing and informative experience with art in a safe environment.

KidzArt offers classes for all ages, including “Art Soirees,” informative and social art instruction parties for adults.

The classes taught to Zebulon Town Hall students were abridged versions of the KidzArt curriculum. KidzArt has different iterations for its classes, such as birthday parties, after-school sessions, and the upcoming week-long summer camps that will be held in Wendell.

Camp sessions start June 23 and have themes, like “Around the World” in which the focus will be global art from many different cultures, and “Famous Artist Camp,” in which students will study and create original works in the styles of Monet, Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

Typical KidzArt classes are about an hour long, and involve a warmup focusing activity, background and explanation of the model artwork, plus time to draw. Every KidzArt class has a model artwork by the creator of KidzArt that serves as the class period’s lesson.

The instructor takes students through a recreation of the primary object in the model drawing line by line so students can watch, hear an explanation and draw along with the instructor. The picture’s setting, colors, background and extraneous details are up to the students’ creativity.

Instruction also stresses that students’ drawings need not resemble the model artwork or the instructor’s beyond learning how to draw the aspect of the picture that was the instructional focus. This creative and artistic license is why no two pictures hanging in Zebulon’s town hall look exactly alike.

Swinson was very pleased with the outcome of the town hall exhibit.

“We hope that our exhibit at the town hall will give the Zebulon community a chance to come and see the amazing artwork created by these children,” she said. “The world through the eyes of a child is truly an inspiring thing to see. And the artwork created by these children is a beautiful reflection of the world.”

The KidzArt exhibit at Zebulon Town Hall is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information about KidzArt of Eastern Wake County, including details about programs, summer camps and discount promotions, visit www.swinson.kidzart.com.