At Hickory Hills Elementary, art collaborations get kids thinking creatively
by Geoff Folsom
March 27, 2013 02:21 PM | 1493 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HIckory Hills Class

Katie Bush said she relished the opportunity to be one of the artists chosen to work with students at Hickory Hills Elementary School in Marietta.

“I love that they’re a Title I school, reaching out to artists in the community to enrich the kids’ experience,” said Bush, education director at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art. “To me, the whole purpose of making art is to connect with other people.”

Bush, a Mableton native, is one of several artists who have been working on art projects with different Hickory Hills classes. Each project is intended to reflect the artist’s style. Bush’s project, which she is working on with a kindergarten class, involves covering a terracotta flower pot with a mosaic design.

While Bush does the heavy lifting, the students have a say in the project’s color grout and decide some items to put in the pot. Bush works regularly with mosaics, even covering the exterior of her south Atlanta home with one.

“I show them a piece of my artwork, and tell them how I work,” she said. “I use a lot of found objects, if I find trash on the street or old tools, I pick them up and take them home and incorporate it into my artwork.”

Other artists participating include painters Laura Surace and Claire Dunaway and photographer Johnny Walker. In Hickory Hills’ previous two community arts collaborations, only one class per grade has been able to participate. But this year, Hickory Hills art teacher Amanda Quay will work on projects with students in other classes.

“This is the first time every student will have their hands on a piece of art,” said Katy Wilder, who is chairing the event for the Hickory Hills Parent Teacher Association.

The art will be showcased and auctioned off at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art’s Martinis and Music event on April 26. Money raised goes toward the PTA.

Hickory Hills fourth-grader James MacPherson, 10, worked on the art projects the past two years. He enjoyed the 2012 project, in which Surace used different textures of paper to make a tree.

“It’s just fun working with artists from different places,” James said. “It’s fun working with all my classmates on different things to do to get it all together.”

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