Dows Lane Main Street School Students Express Creativity with lsquoEyes on Ar

Dows Lane, Main Street School Students Express Creativity with ‘Eyes on Ar

Students at Dows Lane Elementary School and Main Street School expressed their imagination and created their own art, inspired by Romare Bearden, as part of the PTSA-funded Eyes on Art program from Nov. 13-28 and Dec. 4-8, respectively.

The program enables the students to learn more about famous artists and analyze their paintings. Elissa Strauss and Lori Hecker, a mother-daughter team and co-directors of the Eyes on Art program, trained parent volunteers to provide biographical and historical information about the artist. Through the program, the volunteers instructed the students about the various elements of art and examined with them how the artist used those elements to convey a message.

The students compared, contrasted and analyzed three pieces of work, “Wrapping It Up at The Lafayette,” “Return of the Prodigal Son” and “The Thirties: Artist with Painting and Model” before creating their own art. Bearden, an American artist, created works of art that celebrated the African-American experience, which he integrated into greater American modernism. He is best known for his richly textured collages and was also prolific in experimenting with all different mediums and styles.

“The students reflected upon how the artist layered his life experiences into his collages and created their own individual collages that layered aspects from their own lives, interests and experiences while jazz music was played in the background as inspiration,” Strauss and Hecker said.

The volunteers also incorporated the essential questions from both schools into their lessons. At Dows Lane, the students discussed how artists take what they see and feel in their lives and put it into art. At Main Street School, the students discussed how artists envision the world, decide what they want to express and how they transform their observations into art.

“Special thanks to Eyes on Art co-chairs Stacey Rosenkranz and Rebecca Rikon at Dows Lane and Lisa Izes at Main Street School,” Strauss said. “In addition, Main Street School Principal Joyce Chapnick, Dows Lane Principal Deb Marinello and art teacher Nina Rossi were extremely supportive, as were Jen Barnett and the PTSA.”

For more information about the program, visit the PTSA website at