USU ArtsBridge returns to Gallery Walk Friday with hands-on activities

Multiple arts projects created by local elementary and middle school students and coordinated through the USU ArtsBridge program will be on display at St. John’s Episcopal Church, as part of Logan’s downtown Gallery Walk, Friday, April 16, 6-9 p.m. The USU ArtsBridge service learning scholarship program is part of a larger ArtsBridge America network. Utah State University’s program operates from the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Arts and works closely with a variety of USU departments and programs. Every ArtsBridge project on display at Logan’s downtown Gallery Walk is designed and led by a USU student scholar within the arts or education fields. ArtsBridge projects link to and support learning of other subjects taught in the classroom, giving participating children opportunities to develop and refine arts and creative problem-solving skills. Projects typically last 8-12 weeks. Among the projects shown at St. John’s are plans for a water-wise landscape designed by fourth graders at Adams Elementary School (Mrs. Bagley’s class) in a project led by Amanda Dunlap, graduate student in USU’s Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department; clay tiles of animals and plants by students at Mendon’s Mountainside Elementary School (Mrs. Anderson’s class) from a larger clay mural created by fourth graders and led by USU ArtsBridge scholar and ceramics major Andrea Steffes; and a nearly completed four-panel painted mural by fifth graders from Hillcrest Elementary School in Logan (Mrs. Jenkins’s class). When complete, the mural will be installed in the front entrance of the school to celebrate its 50th birthday. For USU ArtsBridge, the project was team taught by two USU students, elementary education major Kellianne Dymock and art major Amy Burtenshaw. Also on display during the Art Walk is an art- and math-inspired ArtsBridge project and additional student art work from middle school students from Willow Valley Middle School in Wellsville. The project was led by Meg Erekson. “What I have learned from my ArtsBridge project is that the arts help motivate the students to learn the concepts, and the projects give them a place to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve gained, which, in turn helps them retain the learning they receive,” Erekson said. Laurie Baefsky coordinates the USU ArtsBridge program. “Classroom students really get to know their USU ArtsBridge scholars and receive an in-depth art-making experience they’ll remember,” said Baefsky. “As the arts continue to be marginalized within the school day, ArtsBridge is a user-friendly way to bring them back into our classrooms.” All ArtsBridge projects are provided at no cost to schools. Educators who want more information about the program should contact Baefsky, 435-760-4889, or visit the Web site (http://artsbridge.usu.edu/).

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