News & Blog

Highlands Students Celebrate Art & Culture

Highlands School

This year, due to COVID-19 protocols and restrictions, Highlands will not be holding an in-person Festival of Art and Culture. Instead, we have envisioned an alternative Celebration of Art and Culture through which students will bring home a display-ready project, framed if appropriate, to celebrate and honor the hard work they have done in art class. Students have been working on art projects that focus on the life and work of a particular artist or culture that, in a "normal" year, would be on display during the Festival of Art and Culture. 

Throughout the year students have had library storytime lessons that have coordinated with their art lessons, providing additional background, historical context, or visual information about the artist or culture they were studying and the art they were creating in art class. We hope your family will enjoy the results of their careful and creative work. 
Here is more information about what you can expect to be sent home at some point during the first week of May. 
4K Tempra and India Ink Painting (framed) | Artist focus: Jean Miro
This project exposed 4K students to the artwork of the Spanish painter Joan Miro and introduced students to new techniques, such as India ink and tempera paint. This allowed them to practice their fine motor skills.
Kindergarten 3D Water Lily Scape (ready to hang) | Artist focus: Claude Monet
This project started with several art history lessons during library and art class about Monet’s life. Students were encouraged to look carefully at Monet’s artwork. The final product of their careful work is a 3D version of Monet’s “Water Lilies.”
1st Grade Mosaic Self Portrait (framed) | Culture focus: Ancient Roman Art
During art and library, first graders studied the art of the Ancient Roman Empire and learned how mosaics were created by the Romans to record history and celebrate accomplishments. An additional aspect of this project was self-awareness as several lessons focused on how we are similar to and unique from others in our community. 

2nd Grade Dot Painting inspired by Australian Aboriginal Art (framed) | Culture focus: Australian Aboriginal people
This project is inspired by the art of the Aboriginal people of Australia. The students learned the techniques and symbols used by this culture and applied them to their paintings. During library, students were exposed to the history and celebrations of the Aboriginal people of Australia and learned about the role art played in their culture.
3rd Grade book My Heart Fills With Happiness (bound) | Artist focus: Henri Matisse
In January, third graders began a unit on gratitude during library and learned that being grateful has been proven to make us happier people. By doing a deep dive into the simple board book My Heart Fills With Happiness by Lakota author Monique Gray Smith, students were able to reflect on what makes them happiest and wrote their own version of Ms. Gray Smith’s book. During art class, students studied Henri Matisse and learned about his process of “drawing with scissors.” Students used the “drawing with scissors” method to illustrate the book they wrote during their library classes. 
4th Grade Letter Art Oil Pastel, (framed) | Artist focus: Paul Klee
In this lesson, the students experimented with abstraction and nonrepresentational drawing and also had the opportunity to create their own version of the famous painting “Once Emerged from the Gray of Night”, 1918 by Paul Klee.
5th Grade Watercolor, Two Apples on a Table (framed) | Artist focus: Paul Cézanne
This still-life project is inspired by artist Paul Cezanne who revolutionized the world of art with his irreverent approach to still-life paintings. It is also the final project of a series of lessons on the elements of art, shape, and form.
6th Grade Personal Ofrenda (potentially donated) | Cultural focus: Dia De Los Muertos, Mexico
For this Mexican-inspired project, students looked at examples of Mexican retablos and ofrenda as inspiration to create a painting to honor and celebrate a person’s life and accomplishments. 6th grade students were given the option to donate their exceptional work to the permanent collection of Birmingham’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival to be displayed as part of the annual art installation. 
7th Grade Collaborative Civil Rights mural | Artist focus: Jacob Lawrence
During their art elective, the seventh graders worked to complete a community collage project inspired by the work of Civil Rights era modernist painter Jacob Lawrence. Lawrence was a student of history, and in his 30-panel series The American Struggle, he depicted how women, Native Americans, and people of color contributed to building our nation. The mural project was conceived by Paperlocal Workers, an Artist Collective, and the Birmingham Museum of Art and in collaboration with the Civil Rights Museum as a community project on MLK Day, 2021. Highlands School 7th graders completed one of the murals during Art class while the second mural was completed by Miles College art students. 
*8th Grade Note: All the art pieces for the Celebration of Art & Culture were completed in art class. Because we only had single-grade electives this year, the 8th grade did not have a specified time for art class. They did, however, complete language art projects with a visual art component and cultural focus this year. 

Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

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