Gratitude Bags | EYC Student Art of the Month (Nov 2023)

Nov 21, 2023

Lily L.’s Thanksgiving card created in Photoshop

In honor of Thanksgiving this year, Art Teacher Terry Neal asked students to prepare gifts of gratitude to the family members hosting their family’s thanksgiving meal!Using a variety of mediums, students constructed their gift using air-dry clay and Photoshop,  and even prepared the bag as well. The art room buzzed with activity as students began the project with molding their clay. Under Terry’s guidance, they shaped the clay into fallen leaves, capturing the essence of autumn with strokes of yellows, oranges, and reds. Terry, sporting a colorful palette of accidental (and purposeful) paint on her arms, offered guidance on color selection and assisted students in bringing their artistic visions to life.

The clay leaves were left in a small plastic bowl, which curved the edges upward to make them into a small dish, perfect for holding rings or keys. This small gift has the students’ hard work throughout, from the molding, to carving the clay, and the painting in multiple hues to bring some realism to the dish. Looking around the art room, it was amazing to see the rainbow of leaves drying on the table, alongside their bags which students decorated with Thanksgiving imagery, as well. Lots of turkeys in pilgrim hats!

Elle K.’s gratitude bag, clay leaf, and Thanksgiving card

In addition to the clay projects, students were also challenged to work with digital art to create cards in Photoshop. They layered text with images, some of which they took themselves, to create their cards and express their gratitude to the host of their family’s Thanksgiving. It was a totally different skill set for students to practice as they developed their artistic abilities.

When students finished early, they reached back for more clay to continue their creativity. Students made pumpkins, cats, and gnomes with the extra clay, bringing their imaginations to life.  And Terry let them use the paints to finish their extra pieces of art, too! The art room is packed with tons of homemade gifts, made with clay, paint, and colored pencils. It’s a testament to Terry’s teaching ability that the students felt so comfortable exploring new mediums of art and experimenting with them!

Drew S.’s Thanksgiving card and bag

In the end, Terry’s Thanksgiving art project not only provided students with an opportunity to hone multiple artistic skills but also fostered a sense of appreciation and gratitude during the holiday season. We are certainly grateful to Terry and our students for their hard work!