AUSTIN, Texas—The Creative Research Laboratory (CRL), a division of the Department of Art and Art History, will present an exhibition of 200 art objects made by children from Zavala, Sanchez and Summitt elementary schools, beginning Dec. 12.
The exhibition entitled “Rise and Shine: Cultivating Creative Minds Through Art Education” highlights an educational alliance between the Austin Independent School District (AISD) and the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.
Through the partnership, students in the Department of Art and Art History have the opportunity to apprentice with AISD art teachers, become involved with the community and receive practical experience as art educators. The partnership also gives the department the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of public education.
“The significant role that high quality art education performs in the life of an individual and in the vitality of a community cannot be overlooked or dismissed,” said Dr. Paul Bolin, visiting associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History. “Such meaningful engagement in the visual arts must be mined and cultivated regularly and thoughtfully.”
The program teaches aspiring art educators and young artists to combine the study of studio art, art history and educational theory with practice in the classroom, while helping young children develop transferable creative and critical thinking skills.
“The main goal of elementary school art programs is certainly not to create young professional artists,” said Douglas Dempster, senior associate dean of the College of Fine Arts. “With today’s emphasis in school curriculum, which increasingly focuses on standardized testing, art programs become an alternate vehicle for children to experience modes of learning crucial to the development of important intrapersonal, interpersonal, spatial, kinesthetic and logic abilities not addressed by standardized education.”
“Quality art education programs are more critical now than ever if we are going to equip our children with the ability to express themselves and develop problem-solving behaviors that will empower them to be successful in our fast-paced, ever-changing world,” said Emma Lea Mayton, co-author of state-adopted art textbooks and AISD retired art coordinator and art teacher.
In parallel to the children’s exhibition, the CRL will also present the Senior Studio Exhibition, with work in ceramics, metals, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video by seniors in the undergraduate studio art program.
“In its first year of operation the CRL has clearly become much more than an off-campus exhibition space,” said Cynthia Camlin, director of the facility. “It is a center where many valuable educational resources converge, a space that gives greater visibility to the artistic partnerships between the university and the larger educational community of Austin.”
An opening reception for Rise and Shine will take place from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15 at the CRL. The McCallum High School Classical Guitar Ensemble will perform at the reception.
The CRL is at 2832 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., one mile east of I-35. There is ample free parking and bus service available on Capitol Metro’s route 18. All activities are free and open to the public.
For more information contact: Bruno Longarini, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7021.