Preschoolers create still lifes to save lives

By ESTHER SMITH

News staff writer

May 4

Four students from Hood River Middle School’s “Making a Difference” class have been working with children at Bright Beginnings Preschool to create art for sale as a way to raise funds for Heifer International.

Zoe Kimball, Lexxi Ramakers, Chloe Hight and Karrie Hoag visited the preschool twice in April to teach the art of Georgia O’Keefe and Paul Cezanne to the kindergartners. The four girls have been in school together since their days at May Street Elementary; three of them went to Bright Beginnings together.

The girls began with a lesson about each artist before moving into the art room to create. The second week’s lesson was on Cezanne.

“Cezanne painted still lifes — do you know what a still life is?” asked Chloe Hight of the kindergartners. She and the other three girls went on to teach about primary colors, warm and cool colors, and other basics in painting — though many of the youngsters were already familiar with the concepts.

The children took their places in the art room where fruit and vegetable cross-sections waited to serve as still life subjects. Each child selected a melon, kiwi, orange, eggplant, or other subject to sketch and then paint.

“Draw it bigger than your hand,” the children were instructed. “One color on the background.”

The finished paintings from both weeks’ lessons will be sold at First Friday this week. They will be on display at Twiggs and funds raised will benefit Heifer International, a project working to end world hunger by providing livestock and other material goods, training and extension work, and organizational development to struggling countries around the world.

“By buying the children’s artwork you will be helping a family in need,” the girls wrote on a flyer to promote the project. “Art really does save lives.”

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