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J. Leslie, Artist in Schools at Sterling Elementary, April 2023

“The residency focused on creating art with geometric patterns for 142 students and nine teachers. I used my style of painting as an example of how geometry can be used in art making. Art lessons began with an exploration of creating patterns using precut paper hexagons. We learned how to create patterns, how to apply paint and how to design paintings. We discussed how important it is to take time to reflect on the art we’ve made and to discuss what we find interesting or challenging and setting some limitations (how many paper hexagons they could use to make their design). The K-3rd grades used wooden hexagons to trace a tessellation pattern. 4-6th grades learned how to use a drawing compass to make a perfect equilateral hexagon. They were then shown how to alter the hexagon to create a shape that could tessellate. Students used this shape to draw their design. We then learned about color choices and painting technique. We also all worked on a collaborative painting. This artwork was mounted for hanging and clear coated for display. One of my favorite successes of the week was students that decided to take some risks and stray from strictly following directions. If students have their own idea that they want to experiment with, all the better. In their finished paintings, a few students chose to not make a completely perfect “tiled plane.” One student chose to design a hexagon robot. His color choices were excellent, and he used a variety of size hexagons to create a really interesting piece of art.” – J. Leslie Narrative Report

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