While most of campus was still sound asleep, the Miami University Art Building buzzed with activity on the morning of Nov. 18. Tables were set with pastries and bagels, coffee was brewed, and the walls of the first floor were covered in artwork.
Miami students enrolled in ART 495, commonly referred to as “Saturday Art,” curated a show of their students' artwork from the past semester. ART 495 is composed of 12-15 Miami students who are divided into pairs or trios to teach a specific age group over the course of a semester. Age groups ranged from pre-K all the way to adults.
Each week, classes explore a different theme in art through a variety of mediums such as polymer clay, papier-mâché, painting, drawing, and collage. The lessons draw on artistic techniques and socio-emotional themes, and incorporate contemporary artists.
Lauren Butts, a senior double-majoring in art education and outdoor leadership, and one of the instructors for the sixth-eighth grade classroom, was happy with the outcome of the show.
“[Saturday Art] has reignited my passion for teaching because I got to work directly with kids,” Butts said.
She said sixth-eighth graders are “so goofy and fun, not afraid to be creative but more independent than younger grades.”
Adeline Fox, a first-grader in Miss Molly's class, said her favorite artwork was a sculpture of a puppy-mug that she created, and she really enjoyed working with the polymer clay. She would love to come back for classes next year.
People of all ages beamed as they showed off their hard work to loved ones. The Art 495 students were surrounded by grateful parents, excited students and overwhelming support from art faculty.
By 11 a.m., most of campus was awake, but the Art Building was once again empty. The galleries were stripped of their colorful exhibition, as students had taken all of their work home. Students headed out the door, many handing their instructors thank-you notes or personalized drawings. The exhibition may have only been a few hours long, but the memories of Saturday Art will live on with every student who participated.