THE EVENT\Classes: Every student in the school, kindergarten through sixth grade
Number of students: 520
Subject: Fine arts and literature\ THE SCHOOL
Location: 2131 E. 7000 South\ Students: 520
Number of teachers: 19
Principal: Garth C. Anderson\ School district: Jordan\ THE LESSON
The school's objective: Bella Vista students have focused on their creativity. A district specialist has worked with various grades to encourage creativity in arts and literature. With the PTA's help, the school applied to participate with the Artist-in-Residence program, funded by the Utah Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visual artist Larnie Fox spent two weeks in April with Bella Vista students.
The artist spent about four hours each day working with the students, and another four pursuing his own work. At the end of the two weeks, he had completed two paintings that were commissioned by Weber State University.
The children learned: A target group of 32 students from the fourth, fifth and sixth grades worked with Fox for two hours a day during the two weeks. "They loved it. It has been a very positive experience, to be given instructions then to be allowed to create projects on their own," said principal Garth Anderson.
"One of the exciting things was to see first-graders working with third-graders," transcending traditional grade barriers, Anderson said.
During the early sessions, Fox and the students talked about environmental issues. The students came up with the idea of creating their own type of imaginary environment in the school auditorium, which was transformed into a colorful participatory art gallery.
The rest of the school had been involved all year in special creative projects in their individual classrooms. Each grade level focused on creating different projects, including imaginary animals, dioramas, original board games and pop-up books. The students also were involved in photography and wrote stories and poetry.
By the end of his residency, Fox had worked with every student in the school. The "Imagination Celebration," which drew hundreds of students and their parents, was the culminating event.
What happens next: Teachers attended the workshop sessions, which were videotaped. The tapes will be edited and kept at the school as teaching resources.
The Deseret News will publish weekly a feature on school activities. Call Chuck Gates, 237-2100.