Artist is the New Astronaut

During the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to visit classrooms throughout the Dallas Independent School District, teaching 1st-6th graders about works of art in the DMA’s collection.  Educational outreach programs like Go van Gogh and the museum’s Talented and Gifted (TAG) program reach hundreds of kids each month, and so far I’ve met some great kids with some great art insights.  Here are a few stories from my first months at the museum:
Last week I was out in the community visiting David G. Burnet Elementary School.  I was teaching a Go van Gogh program called Art of the Lone Star State to a group of excited fourth graders.  We had just finished looking at four works of art by Texas artists.  To wrap up, I asked, “What was your favorite work of art that you saw today?”  One student raised his hand, looked out the window, and pointed to the Go van Gogh van parked in the school parking lot—“THAT!” he said.  Is the van art?  This budding artist seemed to think so.
"Get Along Little Dogies," from Art of the Lone Star State

Art with Four Legs

The Go van Gogh van

Art with Four Wheels

A few days ago I was walking through the hallways of Felix Botello Elementary carrying my Go van Gogh bag, and I heard a student whisper to his friend, “It’s the museum man!”  As I passed by, he slapped me a high-five.  Walking into the classroom, another student excitedly shouted, “It’s an artist!”  As it turns out, they were the artists that day; they made extraordinary model chairs out of ordinary materials like straws and tin foil.

Yesterday I visited James B. Bonham Elementary, teaching a Go van Gogh program called Creative Connections: Ordinary to Extraordinary.  I asked one student how his art project was coming along— “This is the best day of my life!” he said.  Another student said, “When I grow up, I want to be an artist!”  I’m glad to see that artist is the new astronaut.

If you’re a teacher or a parent and I’ve mentioned your school, let us know.  We’d love to hear from you.  As more stories come in, I’ll keep you updated.

Justin Greenlee

Learning Partnerships Intern


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