Lesson From The Classroom: Visual Arts At The Josiah Quincy School

Lesson From The Classroom: Visual Arts At The Josiah Quincy School

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A student shows off her work.Three students play with one mask.Christos Hamawi shows an example of an unpainted paper mache mask.A student cuts out the design for her mask.Christos Hamawi assisting students with their rough drafts.Chinese brush painting done earlier this school year by art class students.Christos Hamawi shows Josiah Quincy School student Natalie Rubin how to mix the paper mache paste during art class.Christos Hamawi describes the sculptural details of the mask he is holding.Classroom teacher Mimi Fong helps a student trace her idea onto her mask.Students create a rough draft of mask ideas using illustrations from a Greek art history book at the Josiah Quincy School in Boston on January 15, 2014. The activity is part of the district’s Arts Expansion Initiative, bringing arts education to students in kindergarten through twelfth grades. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Fifth graders at Josiah Quincy Elementary School are learning art and art history this year in a special class taught by Boston-artist Christos Hamawi.

Hamawi is one of more than 40 artists working in Boston Public Schools and is part of the district’s Arts Expansion Initiative, bringing arts education to 11,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

Hamawi, whose grant for $20,000 allows him to teach 180 fourth and fifth graders, says that the program provides an important bridge between working artists and the schools, providing stability for artists and education for students.

At the Quincy School, where his fifth graders are working on Greek paper mache masks and his fourth graders Roman mosaics, teacher Mimi Fong says she’s impressed by what she sees her students accomplishing in art class.

It’s the first time many of the students have had art instruction, she says.

“This is amazing,” she says, reviewing the students’ work. “It’s not the kind of work you’d expect from a fifth grader. I want to see this framed.”

Where are BPS Arts Expansion Initiative Programs? See the chart below.

[spreadsheet key=”0AprNP7zjIYS1dGFMak1Ec3BsanZHN3k4WlYyRFdUVkE” source=”Boston Public Schools” filter=1 paginate=1 sortable=1]

Lessons from the Classroom profiles special initiatives and projects in Massachusetts schools. Want to see your program profiled? Email it to Learning Lab Editor Laura Amico.