Inspiring students to refine their artistic skills during the summer break
Posted on 07/23/2019
A group of students working on their projects for the art enrichment programMore than 150 student artists participated in the annual Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) Summer Art Enrichment program held at Kyle Wilson Elementary School. Students in second — eighth grades took inspiration from different artists to complete a variety of projects during the two-week program. Using this year’s theme of “Art Everywhere,” the students created pieces with the idea that art can come from everyday items such as shoes, plates, and the houses they live in.

This intensive art program offers close to 30 hours of studio experience to students beyond the classroom instruction they receive during the school year. Students are grouped by grade level and focus on a variety of artistic styles and methods that include: drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, sculpture, graphics, and mixed-media.

After attending the program last year, David Rodriguez-Quiceno knew he wanted to participate this year. He enjoys learning the different techniques and styles that allow him to express himself in his art, especially drawing – which is his preferred artistic outlet.

“The teachers inspire us to do awesome work. I was working on my paper mache shoe and I was not happy with the execution, so my teacher asked me to step back and look at it from a totally different point of view. It helped me to see that it didn’t have to be perfect for me to be satisfied with the outcome,” commented Rodriguez-Quiceno.

On the last day of the program, students showcased their artwork in a culminating art exhibit that their families were invited to attend. Music was provided by some of the PWCS strings teachers while each classroom had snacks for the attendees.

Alyssa Tice, the PWCS summer art coordinator, feels the program is important because it provides a place for students to be challenged and develop their skills beyond what they learn during the school year. Speaking enthusiastically about the program, Tice stated, “My favorite part of the program this year was watching the students interact with the visiting artists that came and shared their work and processes during the first week. The students asked really interesting questions and were able to learn a lot about different career options for artists.”

Student artists who are interested in attending next summer's Enrichment Program should ask their art teachers for more information or check the PWCS website beginning in March 2020.