Benton artists' work on display in St. Louis
By Holly Kee
Four Benton Grade School students are making their debut into the world of art in a big way.
Kindergarten students Samuel Adams and Camilla Frattini, first-grader R.J. Key and third-grader Tenzley Sloan will occupy four of the 100 exhibit slots in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's "Picture the Music" traveling display.
The program, which is aligned with both state and national educational standards, invites students in kindergarten through sixth grade to listen to a musical work and respond with paintings and drawings that express creative thought and emotion.
This year's musical selection was Anton Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World."
Jennifer Fitzpatrick, who teaches art at Benton Grade School, said she is "delighted about the variety of responses to the music" from all students.
"R.J. chose to create a black and white painting of astronauts on the moon in response to hearing that "'From the New World' was played by Neil Armstrong during the moon landing" she said. "Tenzley, however, chose to create a collaged, brightly colored scene of people returning home from the war. I don't know if she picked up on Dvorak's homesickness or the influence of the post-civil war era in which he composed. All I know is that each student's response was vastly different."
The BGS student work will travel with 96 other pieces to be displayed in the St. Louis area at Powell Hall, Peters Cultural Arts Center, The Magic House, St. Louis Public Library (Schlafly Branch), Plaza Frontenac and the Boeing Company.
The students also will be considered for additional honors and recognition. According to the St. Louis Symphony website, an awards ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at Powell Hall.
Fitzpatrick said family, teachers and friends are invited to attend the ceremony as well.
"We are looking forward to this event," she said.
The mission of the St. Louis Symphony is to enrich people's lives through the power of music. The Symphony Volunteer Association supports this mission through Picture the Music, which helps develop the listening skills of children and encourages the integration of music and visual art.
Fitzpatrick said the program fills a needed space in education.
"There seems to be fewer opportunities for children to see a problem posed and witness the infinite number of answers to the same problem," she said. :This is a neat program."
Excellent student work not submitted to St. Louis for consideration due to the seven-piece limit has been on display at the Benton Public Library. Those with parent permissions may be viewed online at artsonia.com.