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Elementary students put artistic talent on display
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With soft piano music playing in the background, elementary students at Button Gwinnett had their paintings and drawings professionally framed, displayed and made available for purchase during an art show May 16.
First ArtWorks provided the framing and will donate part of the proceeds from the sales back to the school.
Dr. LaVerne Halliburton, BGE principal, said the event was the creative result of art teacher Rebecca Hager.
"She has just taken our art program to another level," Halliburton said.
She explained how Hager's style of teaching enforces and integrates what students are learning in other subject areas.
"She gets with the other teachers ... and tries to correlate something with art to the other subject matters," Halliburton said.
Earning an art education degree from the University of Georgia, Hager wanted the students to have an "art experience," and "get a really good idea of what publishing your work means."
"If you engage them creatively in art and music and that sort of thing, they're going to do so much better in every other subject" Hager said. "They're so interrelated."
Michael Lewis, Frank Long Elementary art teacher, saw the show as an outlet for students to learn to express themselves.
Between his experience and his wife's experience teaching high school art classes, Lewis said elementary students usually come up with the most creative work because they are not "intimidated by anything."
"There's no peer pressure so they just go for it," he explained. "And as they get older they start being more self-conscious."
"It's just amazing what the kids come up with to draw," said Ruthann Husfelt, who came out to see her second-grade granddaughter, Taylor Davis.
Michelle Richardson also was surprised to see how much a family vacation two years ago resonated enough with her son, William, for him to depict it in his displayed piece for the art show.
His picture, "The Boat of Life," had all the details of their trip to Sapelo Island, including the boat that took them to the island and the dolphins they saw in the water.  
"I was actually amazed when he showed me," Richardson said. "It (the trip) must have stuck with him."
Zenda Davis felt the art piece from her third-grade grandson, Jalante Davenport, was special enough to purchase and said she recognized some "real talent" in other works as she walked through the displays.
"You can tell that somebody is going to be an artist one day," she said.

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