Art show features work from more than 1,000 Plano students

Adrian, Alexander and Andrew Escobar of Plano are 11-year-old triplets in fifth grade at Emily G. Johns Intermediate School. On April 6, the three were given a chance to show their individuality – through art.

In art class, the students were even given the task of recreating a scene from downtown Chicago: Adrian chose the Willis Tower, Alexander chose Soldier Field and Andrew chose The Bean.

Their parents, Ernesto and Windy Escobar, and the community had the opportunity to view their artwork during the fourth annual K-6 Art Show and Ice Cream Social held in the EGJ school gymnasium.

The show featured artwork from each of the more than 1,000 kindergarten through sixth-grade students at P.H. Miller, Centennial and EGJ schools.

“We attend the art show every year, and every year, their paintings change and develop,” Windy Escobar said. “Their art is so different from each other. I like to see how good they’re getting. … We have an album of their artwork at home, and our refrigerator always has pictures on it. I’m just so proud of them, their hard work and their creativity.”

The mediums on display at the art show included paintings featuring watercolor, chalk, pencils, ink and crayon, resist art, paper pulp and ceramics. The schools’ art teachers spent more than a month selecting, labeling and double mounting the artwork for display.

“The event is meant to showcase all of our students and their work,” said EGJ art teacher Leigh Lederman. “Every student has a piece on display. All of the students will receive a participation ribbon. The students can also enter their artwork into the Best of the Best Show in May to win additional ribbons.”

As families walked around the gymnasium, the schools’ music teachers took turns playing songs on the piano. An ice cream social was held in the school’s cafeteria and a book fair was held in the library.

In separate rooms, local artisans demonstrated their skills and helped children create make-and-take art projects. Michelle and Phillip Shepard of The Petite Palette in Sandwich showed children how to create an origami cup that holds water, Assistant Principal Kevin Swann of EGJ School hosted an air brushing demonstration and Kelly and Mike Browning of Arts on Fire in Plano held a lampworking demonstration, showing how to melt glass in a small fire to form beads.

Lederman said the show gets children excited about art.

“Brothers and sisters race around, eager to show each other and their parents their art,” she said. “Neighbors, friends, cousins are all here, looking at artwork and sharing what they created. Art ties so much into what they’re learning across the curriculum, in math and science. Art helps the students express themselves, stimulate their minds and think creatively.”

Abby Alvarez, principal at Centennial School, said the show is a wonderful way to focus on the fine arts and highlight the students’ and art teachers’ work.

“The art show is one of my favorite events each year,” Alvarez said.

“I think that it is important to focus on art for an evening. People may think that the students are working only on reading, math and test scores. The community can come out and see that we’re doing so much more as a school district.”

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