Drawing to Their Own Beat
In this issueEngage - Volume 8, Issue 2 Fall 2018
Students from across Saskatchewan were drawing to the beat thanks to a Culture Days and LIVE Arts partnership.
Artist and illustrator Allan Dotson worked with grades one to eight students at Caswell School in Saskatoon on September 27 and 28, 2018 as part of the 2018 Culture Days weekend. His workshops were simultaneously broadcast, thanks to LIVE Arts, across the province to over 120 schools, with over 2,700 students registered to view and participate in learning how to draw a detailed scene of a dancing humanoid character.
The students began the session by sketching simple drawing of musical instruments. They then listed to four different music samples and were encouraged to move their own bodies to the rhythm. After listening to each song, the children drew a stick person whose pose and lines best responded to the music. The students afterwards chose one of the stick figures to finish as a detailed drawing.
According to Dotson, “The students were very engaged, and respectful. They liked the movement part of the exercise, and they followed my steps and made great drawings! I had a lot of fun!”
Jay Kimball, program consultant, LIVE Arts, says the students loved the sessions. “They were totally blown away by Allan’s Illustration skills. The theme, On Beat, inspired the program, Drawn to the Beat. Students exhibited an increased interest in illustration because of the music and dancing involved. The broadcasts taught students some serious skills and made them consider who the character is, where they are and why they are dancing.”
“I believe that when professional artists inspire young people, a deeper appreciation for culture and the arts shows up later in their lives as adults in the most surprising ways.” ~ Jay Kimball
Kimball continues, “I believe that when professional artists inspire young people, a deeper appreciation for culture and the arts shows up later in their lives as adults in the most surprising ways.”
Dotson adds that he hopes that his sessions help inspire future artists. “My hope is that children will feel that they can be successful in drawing, to start a drawing with light lines and basic shapes before adding details, and that drawing can communicate ideas, emotion, even music and movement!”
LIVE (Live Interactive Video Education) Arts engages teachers and students in an interactive distance learning experience. Professional artists provide grade appropriate, creative lessons that are broadcast to schools across Saskatchewan.
“I think LIVE Arts is a great program that benefits artists, students, and teachers all across the province. I feel proud to be a part of it,” says Dotson.
LIVE Arts is supported by the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture Inc., with funding from the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation, and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education in partnership with host school divisions.
Culture Days is a collaborative, across-Canada movement designed to raise awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. The 2018 Culture Days celebrations took place September 28 – 30, 2018.