St. Maria Goretti School wins national art grant Print
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Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
St. Maria Goretti School recently won a $2,500 art grant.

St. Maria Goretti School in Madison recently won a $2,500 art grant award from American Girl for the above work, currently displayed in the school. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- St. Maria Goretti School (SMG) in Madison has received a $2,500 grant from American Girl as a runner-up winner of the national American Girl Elevate the Arts School Grant Contest.

According to the American Girl website, "American Girl, in partnership with Americans for the Arts, invited elementary school art teachers to submit student projects and an essay about how their schools value art, as well as how a grant would be used to further art in their schools. With hundreds of entries from schools across the country, determining the winners was challenging. Using criteria of artistic merit, effort, and effective expression of the theme, our judging committee rewarded 13 schools with grants totaling $45,000."

The grant contest, which ran from January 1 to May 31, asked elementary art teachers and their students to creatively illustrate -- both visually and verbally -- the importance of having art in their schools.

Each entrant was required to submit a 500-word essay conveying why art matters, along with an artwork piece that incorporated a hot-air balloon in some way to tie to the story of American Girl 2013 Girl of the Year, Saige, an imaginative and spirited girl who turns her passions into action to save the arts at her school.

A judging panel comprising representatives from American Girl and Americans for the Arts selected the top 13 winners on the basis of three criteria: effort, artistic merit, and effective expression of the theme.

"This has been an amazing journey for my artists," said SMG art teacher Kris Quackenbush, "one we will never forget. We have learned about planning a big group mural that includes art from 149 artists in third through fifth grades, why art matters to each of us, and the impact that it has on us and our school.

"My favorite part is how the hot air balloon ‘pushes boundaries’ literally and figuratively in our mural. Our hot air balloon cannot be restrained by the frame that it is in; it pushes out of the boundaries of the box frame and takes all of us with it! Art 'takes us to another world!'"

"We are so excited and proud of our students!" said SMG Principal Liz Young. "We have always valued our arts programs at SMG, and to see Ms. Quackenbush and the students’ efforts rewarded in a national contest is a great honor!"

SMG's winning entry is on display in the school’s gathering area. You can read more about the process of creating the artwork and see more photos at www.StMariaGoretti.org/SMG/School/ArtBalloonProject2013.aspx

 
 

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