Scout brings art back to life

HOWLAND – Preschool children at the Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Howland were able to learn about famous artists and their artistic styles through a Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Ellie Martin, 17, a member of Girl Scout Troop 80117 and a Howland High School junior, held four art classes in May for the preschoolers as part of her 80-hour project, “Bringing Art from Then Back to Life Now!”

The art camps allowed the kids to learn about famous artists as Martin earned her Gold Project Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve.

Denise Starr, a preschool teacher, said the children loved doing the art projects and visits from Martin and Howland National Honor Society members, who helped her and the children.

“They were able to be so creative and have fun. The children loved the interactive sessions planned for them each week,” Starr said.

Martin said the first week children learned about Roy Lichtenstein and completed a watercolor pop art painting, followed by the study of Michelangelo and a clay sculpting project the second week. The third session was an overview of Vincent Van Gogh and the Impressionist style, and children painted the giraffe sculptures done the before.

The final project involved the study of Andy Warhol and had the children painting the art camp logo.

Martin said the plan is to hold the camp each year in May. She said the objective of the art camps is to shine light on the importance put on the arts in today’s schools and educational organizations. Through art, children acquire motor skills, the ability to make decisions, visual perception of images and forward thinking.

“I believe all children should be part of an art program that helps them learn creative skills, motor skills and thinking outside the box to make things better,” she said.

The preschoolers participated in hands-on, interactive activities.

”The children are learning to be creative. For the lesson on Andy Warhol, we took the iconic images and painted using light and dark colors,” she said.

“Just seeing how much the kids really enjoyed this, how much they got out of this, and how seriously they took the art projects shows how important art is,” said Martin, who has been involved in scouting for 13 years.

Martin said if you look at each giraffe, each has something different. One has a saddle on its back, one has its head turned and another has a very long trunk.

“All the different things about the giraffes are what I like because it shows they thought outside the box and made something different and not what I told them,” Martin said.

Martin is among the original members of Troop 80117, starting when she was in elementary school. She is the daughter of Anne and Gary Martin.