Fine, practical arts program inclusive

WILTON – The fine and practical arts programs in Wilton and Lyndeborough, from grades one through 12, are changing to meet new standards, to include other subjects such as math and science in their curriculum, and to incorporate new techniques, such as computer art at the high school.

Amanda Luter, elementary art; Judi Wing, middle and high school fine arts; and Olympia Clark, teacher of practical arts such as cooking and life skills, presented an overview of their fields to the school board on Oct. 28.

Luter, in her sixth year at Florence Rideout and second year in Lyndeborough, said she is looking forward to the new school next year when “Lyndeborough students will have a real art room for the first time.” She will also have much more room and adequate storage and be able to take on larger projects. Her curriculum includes “all the basics, all the mediums I can find,” plus exposure to fine art, learning to analyze why one does or does not like a picture.

The new standards, she said, “focus on creating art and making decisions.”Art is a language, you need the correct vocabulary.”

Her students recently completed a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis in which each child wove potholders on a small hand loom.

Long time teacher Judi Wing said a new course in computer art is exciting, one she said she is learning from her students, but she emphasized that the basics – color, form and texture – still need to be learned.

“Art is problem solving,” she said. “Students have to ask ‘what if?’ and use the basic techniques in a different way.”

Both art teachers displayed a selection of student work.

Olympia Clark works with grades seven through 12, and classes include wellness and life skills, “practical living,” she said. “How are you spending, wasting? Your money.”

Cooking classes include math, measuring in grams, “using science in creative cooking.”

A recent seventh grade project was the making an autobiography on a cereal box which included objects as well as writing. Another class decorated bottles, painting them with various scenes, creating decorative vases.

The cooking class created a bag of goodies for all board members, using paper bags decorated by the seventh graders.