Learning the value of creativity at an early age, students at Riley Avenue Elementary School are designing and crafting a nature-inspired mosaic for the school’s new library.
Under the guidance of visiting artist Clare Bennett and art teacher Melissa Haupt, every student has been busy creating the 6-by-4 intricate tile and stained glass mosaic.
Ms. Bennett, who has a full studio in her Manorville home where she teaches pottery, stained glass and mosaics, has been involved in several art projects in East End schools. She said these types of projects help children build confidence knowing they are capable of creating beautiful pieces of art.
“Elementary students ask such great questions,” Ms. Bennett said. “When I do a project with the students, it’s not like I say ‘OK, come on, let’s do it.’ First, I talk to each class about art history and about famous artists and how each artist contributes to the world of art.
“The kids love being allowed to use actual tools to smash the tiles,” she added.
The new mosaic was made possible through fundraising and took about a month to complete, Ms. Haupt said. It is one of many large-scale art projects the school tackles each year to help inspire creativity in students, she said.
“By the conclusion of this project, we will not only have a real work of art, but every child in our school can point to it with pride and say, ‘I helped create this,’ ” Ms. Haupt said.
Student artists at the Aquebogue Elementary School are currently working with visiting artist Joyce Raimondo on a similar project to create a huge mural, which will be painted onto a new wall in their recently enlarged cafeteria/kitchen area.