Combined arts

Students use music at Family Art Night to teach painting

Gretchen Burns | Collegio Reporter

Joe Strong took his four children to Porter Hall to help them understand the many facets of artistic expression.
“ I wanted them to grasp

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the concept that art is more than just drawing and has more aspects to it like the action painting and others,” said Strong, senior in nursing. “They all love art, but this helps expose them to different aspects.”
The Family Art Night on Thursday, Nov. 1, is an annual function sponsored by the University Art Association and PSU Art Department for children ages 3 to 12.
About 100 children attended the event, about half as many as last year, says DeAnna Morgan, UAA president.

Parents and children paint with music during Family art nigt in Porter hall, Thursday Nov 1.

Parents and children paint with music during Family art nigt in Porter hall, Thursday Nov 1.


“We may have had half the amount of people show up,” said Morgan, senior in art education. “But that’s still getting students and our community involved in our department.”
Family Art Night consisted of several activities for the children that helped teach them about the theme: action painting. Action painting is a style of abstract painting that uses techniques such as dripping or splashing paint to achieve a spontaneous effect.
The most popular activity was Indirect Action Painting, where children used acrylic paint and a sheet of paper while listening to music. They painted in a way to express their mood. If a fast song was playing, the children were told to splatter the paint. If a slow song was playing, they were to make slow, detailed lines. Colors were associated with different songs as they painted. Elvis Presley’s “Hounddog” was painted with green paint, while violin and cello music used yellow. Stomp music was painted in red paint to express the crazy beats while the color blue was used by kids when they were listening to “Under the Sea.”
PSU students who are majoring in art education and elementary education volunteered to help the children with the activities as part of their teaching experience.
“I learned the best way for little kids to learn is by my example,” said Meghan Amer, junior in art education. “I got them to dance by me dancing first.”
Mercedes Brink, vice president of UAA, says the kids were able to grasp the concepts of action painting fairly easily.
“The little kids understand the concepts. The parents definitely help them get motivated,” said Brink, junior in art education and psychology. “The older kids are more challenging, because they are more self-aware.”
Strong says his children understood the concepts of action painting being taught.
“My 8 year-old wanted to draw at first,” Strong said. “But he grasped the concept and had fun afterward.”
Morgan says even though the event didn’t bring in as many kids as last year, it was still successful because it helped reach out to the community.
“It’s definitely more successful,” she said. “Even just to reach one student, they learned something they hadn’t reached before. It also helps to reach out to the rural community with art.”
While all of the smaller activities were geared toward individual works, different groups of children donned trashbags to dance and paint to the hit “Gangnam Style.” The finished piece will be displayed in Porter Hall at a later date.

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