Welcome to the Prairie Arts Center Parent and Teacher Resources page. Once a month we will feature a successful lesson plan from past Art Academy classes, summer camps, or other youth and/or outreach programming here at Prairie. Lessons will include enough detail, context, and resources to execute at home or in the classroom. It is our hope that this will be a valuable, shared resource among educators and parents in our community and beyond. We would be happy to receive feedback, social media tags, and suggestions!
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Description: This activity pairs science with art, observing and exploring with making, and gives students the chance to take a tour at the OSU Museum of Art. It is inspired by Glass Houses, a multimedia artwork by Marguerite Perret and Bruce Scherting that is currently on display in the exhibition The State We’re In Water: Constructing a Sense of Place in the Hydrosphere (until May 29, 2021). This exhibition explores humanity's complex relationship to water- our dependency on it, our awe and love for it, as well as our careless waste and destruction of it. Glass Houses is a large, colorful installation piece that celebrates the tiny micro-organisms known as diatoms. Diatoms provide the earth with much of its oxygen through the process of photosynthesis and they are known as the "gems of the sea" because they are encased in glass and made of all the colors of the rainbow. 
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Prairie Arts Center is excited to partner with the OSU Museum of Art for this year's Spring Break Camp. Humans and the Hydrosphere will be an exploration of the museum's current exhibition, "The State We're In Water: Constructing a Sense of Place in the Hydrosphere." The hydrosphere is the sum total of all the water on the planet. Students will be using the lens of art and art-making to learn about watershed habitats, wastewater recycling, and the imprint of water movement on the land. They will also have the chance to explore and express their own relationship to water and participate in an interactive tour of the exhibition led by Cat and Christina at the museum. 

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In our last session of Art Academy for 6-10 year olds, we focused on folk traditions from around the world. This lesson is inspired by well known American folk artist and quilter, Harriet Powers. Powers was born into slavery in 1839 in rural Georgia. She was a wife, a mother of nine, and it is speculated that she earned a living later in life as a seamstress. Only two of her quilts survive, both of them traditional applique and piecework. They are bold and skillful examples of so called story quilts, an art form which extends back to ancient African textile traditions. Each panel uses symbols and figures to tell a story. Powers' stories are an interesting mix of the mythical and religious and the personal and local.
 
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Art Academy is an after-school class designed for students who wish to develop and grow their artistic aptitude. Throughout each six week session, students learn and practice foundational skills in the visual arts and are exposed to a variety of mediums in both the 2D and 3D arts. Art Academy students also develop strong visual literacy and critical thinking skills through looking at and discussing their own artwork and the artwork of others. For the 6-10 year old cohort, each session yields a "final" work or project that is shared and discussed. For the 11-14 year old students, the focus shifts to skills-based instruction with an emphasis on drawing, painting, design, and composition.

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This activity combines two mediums (watercolor and collage) and has both an exploratory, process-based step and a more focused, compositional step. In other words, a little something for everyone. The salt mixed with the watercolor will create an interesting and somewhat surprising snow storm effect that is sure to please. If you find this lesson after the holiday/winter season, you can always make a night sky and let the salt effect become the shining stars. Enjoy! 
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