Volume 75, Number 45 | March 29 -April 04 2006

Villager photos by Talisman Brolin

Left, as her class sang “We Are One” teacher Jessica Harvey strummed along on guitar. Right, Shelby Redd checked out a K-1 class’s artwork, “Bird Nest and Birds.”

Environmental art comes naturally to P.S. 3 students

By Chad Smith

Although buildings of steel, brick and glass surround the students at P.S. 3, nature still captures their imagination.

At the Village school’s 1st Annual Environmental Arts Festival last Thursday, the young students combined their penchant for art and performance with a new appreciation of the outdoors, and essentially turned an hour-long presentation into an ode to nature.

“We want you to nurture the Earth that nurtures you,” Lupi Del Toro, a fourth-and-fifth-grade teacher at the school, who helped organize the event, told the students.

Because the festival’s theme centered on nature and respecting the Earth, students crafted their nature-themed art pieces using recycled, everyday items — such as popsicle sticks, soda cans and cardboard boxes — and refashioned them into animal shelters and dioramas. All the work ran around the inside perimeter of the auditorium.

Parents cheered on the kids and clapped along with the bongo beats of Bruce Mack, a music teacher at P.S. 3, as the students, all of whom were wearing blue T-shirts, did a free-form-style dance, hopping and somersaulting across the stage.

P.S. 3, which is located on Hudson St. between Christopher and Grove Sts., is a prekindergarten-to-fifth-grade, alternative, arts-based school.
Art teachers punctuated the students’ performances with presentations of their own work, the themes of which also focused on nature.
“I like to paint after waking up early, walking on the beach and getting very in tune with the elements,” said Steven Corsano, one of the art teachers, as he explained his work in a slideshow presentation.
Other performances included a monologue about the importance of redwood trees and a finale in the form of a group song by students.
Before the finale, though, Dashiell Allen, a first-grade student, was asked to speak his mind about art. “To me, art is everything,” Dashiell said. “That’s why it’s beautiful.”

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