Arts After School program teaches painting and perspective

Arts After School program teaches painting and perspective

Arts After School program teaches painting and perspective
January 25
00:04 2018

The children are presented with a collage of images projected on a wall. There is a wrecking ball, a metronome and a clock.

What do they all have in common?

They all use a pendulum.

The kids are creating paintings using this same scientific concept. An empty plastic bottle holds the paint and is suspended over paper from a triangular structure.

Greater Denton Arts Council’s Arts After School classes are held from 3:30-5:30 p.m on Wednesdays from Jan. 18 – March 7 at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center.

Education Coordinator Sara Greenberg leads the class. She adds to the painting pendulum while asking the young artists how they thought the different variables would affect the appearance of the paint as it dripped onto the paper.

“It’s a really great opportunity for the kids to engage socially after school and engage in learning in a way that’s fun,” Greenberg said. “In school, learning is about testing and right and wrong. What I love about art classes is there’s room for interpretation and everyone has a unique experience.”

She isn’t the only one who believes teaching art to children is important. TWU sophomore Caitlyn Laky and UNT junior Naomi Borrero volunteer with the program after they fell in love with art at a young age.

According to Laky, each of the women bring something important to the class.

Greenberg knows how to incorporate educational aspects into each week’s theme thanks to her art history education. Borrero is good at keeping everything organized, especially when it comes to the exhibition that will take place at the end of the session where parents will be invited to see the art and the children will be able to explain their artistic processes.

“It allows them to be able to talk about their own art and listen to other people talk about what their art means to them which is something that a lot of artistic people don’t get to do until they’re older,” Borrero said.

For Laky, the most rewarding part of the process isn’t the final product itself, but the journey to get to it.

Olive VanDivier, 6, watches as a makeshift pendulum drops paint on her drawing at an after school arts class hosted by the Denton Greater Arts Council on Jan. 17 at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center. Sara Carpenter

“It’s not necessarily about the project, but the process,” Laky said.

This process allows the kids to develop metacognition skills. During the class, one of the kids said he did not like something about his painting and Laky questioned him asking why.

“Don’t just feel something,” Laky said. “Understand why you feel that, dissect it and be ready for when that situation comes again. The process of art opens up that part of your mind that helps you think like that in everyday situations.”

Borrero also pointed out because the children are so young (ages 6-10), their brains are more moldable and better able to retain the process.

Even though the kids are practicing a complex mental lesson, they are more focused on having fun. By the end of the class, the ground below the pendulum was covered in paint as one of the kids shouted that she wanted to jump in the puddle.

As their parents arrived to pick them up, the children excitedly told them about the project. Although it is good that the kids are having so much fun, Greenberg knows this class has a much bigger effect.

“It is not only about creating art,” Greenberg said. “Here, we create social skills, we cultivate public speaking skills, we teach them about history, we teach them about science. It’s so much more than just pen and paper.”

Greater Denton Arts Council has a wide variety of events for all ages. For more information, visit

Featured Image: Children watch as a makeshift pendulum drops paint on a drawing during an after school arts class hosted by the Denton Greater Arts Council on Jan. 17 at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center. Sara Carpenter

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Camila Gonzalez

Camila Gonzalez

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