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February 7, 2014

Elementary students create aboriginal art

NORMAN — Dreamer Concepts, an art space for emerging artists, collaborated with Wilson Elementary School to bring an Art Education Experience to Wilson fourth- and fifth-graders.

Students produced vividly colored designs based on the paintings of Australian Aboriginal people.

Dreamer Concepts will host an opening reception to display the art with “Dreamer 53: The Art Education Experience,” from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Dreamer Concepts gallery, 324 E. Main St.

The program aims to increase the amount of visual arts education received by Wilson students and enhance Wilson students’ sense of belonging within their community.

“With this program, the kids are exposed to another culture through a variety of visual art mediums and music,” said Amber Clour, executive director of Dreamer Concepts. “For many of the students, this is the first opportunity they have to visit a gallery setting, and I’m impressed by their excitement.”

Dreamer is pursuing expanding the program to other elementary schools in Norman and is collaborating with Lincoln Elementary to bring the Art Education Experience there next fall.

“We feel we are planting a seed for art appreciation as they are introduced to new cultures and participate in art-related events,” Clour said.

Art educator Kara Gilbertson Diaz visited Wilson Elementary students’ classrooms and guided them through the concept of “dreamtime stories,” or stories that explain nature in Aboriginal culture.

The students then learned how to create rhythm by adding patterns and visual interest through application of color theory. The children’s paintings focused on Australian animals.

“Australian Aboriginal-style art making is fun, but that is not all. Creative thinking and problem solving skills, cultural awareness and the vocabulary of art are some of the many things students gain while learning and creating art,” Gilbertson Diaz said. “When students see their final work of art displayed, they are full of pride that their hard work is acknowledged by their families, friends and the community at large.

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