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The Head Start Youth Art Exhibition runs May 18th- June 1st in Gallery 115 at the Y Arts Center. Reception is Saturday, June 1, from 1-2:30pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Head Start Story Tapestries Exhibit at the Y Arts Center Head Start Story Tapestries Exhibit at the Y Arts Center Head Start Story Tapestries Exhibit at the Y Arts Center

This year, our Write Your Story program in Frederick YMCA Head Start included Artist in Residency sessions for all eight classrooms, site-based Family Events with a performance, and an end-of-the-year Celebration of Art.

The art on display was all created by Frederick YMCA Head Start preschoolers aged three to five. Visual artist in residency Jamie Cowan visited each classroom once or twice. While there, we read a picture book, sang and danced, and then donned our aprons to dress for success! The plan was to create an attractive gallery exhibit featuring a variety of process-based art using various media while simultaneously providing opportunities for the children to practice visual art skills, social skills, and fine motor strengthening.

At the Y Center on North Market Street, one classroom read Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzburg, seeing that our mistakes can turn into wonderful creations if we pause and think with our imagination. We practiced this idea before heading to the tables to paint with watercolor on one page and tempera paint with mural paper on another. With our mural, we quickly realized that even though our paint colors started as separate shades of purple, blue, and black, they blended together on the paper as everyone painted excitedly. Then, the large dark scene was made more beautiful with “stars” stamped in metallic gold and silver to resemble a night sky.

In another classroom, we took our inspiration from books about garden creatures and the metamorphosis of a butterfly. After reading Look It’s Raining by Mathieu Pierloot one day and Caterpillar Dreams by Clive McFarland another day, children used a variety of art and fine-motor skills to create a base of grass from torn paper for their flower and butterfly to set upon. Their flowers were created by coloring model magic dough with cyan, yellow, and magenta markers to see the colors blend as they manipulated the dough. This activity is wonderful for developing the hand strength needed for writing. Paper butterflies were made by spraying their marker-colored paper with water to watch colors blend together and later cutting those out themselves. Throughout the entire process, the classroom teachers and I encouraged children to persevere if tasks were difficult and to solve problems as they arose.

Each class’s projects were created similarly by reading, singing, dancing, and reviewing colors together. We then prepared for the project by inviting excitement and interest in making something of their own using the materials presented as an invitation to explore. I believe there is power in giving children the autonomy to create and explore with any material, and I enjoyed seeing their joy throughout the process.

Rapping with Mr. Root – Get Involved! (Jamaal “Mr. Root” Collier)

This interactive and engaging hip hop-based assembly is challenging, fun, and entertaining! Each audience member has an opportunity to ‘GET INVOLVED’ with call-and-response, steady beat chants, beat production, and even some group dancing! Jamaal “Mr. Root” Collier explains the importance of expressing yourself and describes how some legends of the culture, such as DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, have done the same.

Info about Story Tapestries: 

Story TapestriesStory Tapestries: Arianna Ross and The Ensemble execute performances and residencies that use the arts as a means to bridge barriers and help individuals foster a deeper connection to what they are learning and teaching. Story Tapestries creates international, dynamic programs that weave the power of dance, music, theatre, hip hop, rap, written word, visual art, and spoken word with any school subject. For over 26 years, Arianna Ross and her ensemble of artists have performed across the United States in festivals, concert halls, colleges, libraries, and schools. They believe in the power of the arts to Elevate Voices and celebrate Communities. All of our programs are custom-designed to support the needs of the community, adults, and students.

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