WALNUT GROVE - While they might not ever be a Tae Kwon Do champion, pop star or the next Emily Bronte, Michelangelo, Emily Dickinson, Charles Schulz or Fred Astaire, Westbrook-Walnut Grove students in grades K-6 got to imagine what it would be like as they explored a number of art forms at the 16th annual Elementary Prairie Winds Art Festival on Thursday in Walnut Grove.
"We have some very talented artists out there," organizer Tom Vondracek said to the full student assembly.
For most of them, it was a new opportunity. And, their smiles said it all.
Photo by Jenny Kirk
Second-grader Orien Knakmuhs concentrated on his artwork as he followed step-by-step instructions from drawing instructor Ed Fornberg at the 16th annual Westbrook-Walnut Grove Elementary Prairie Winds Art Festival Thursday in Walnut Grove. Students in grades K-6 spent the majority of the day learning first-hand about the different types of art.
"It was fun," kindergartners Makenna Ekblad, Steven Vang and Kevin Yang said, proudly holding up their newly-made accordion style books.
Mary Jo Pauly, who assisted students in making the books, was one of three new presenters at the 2011 festival. Students also had the opportunity to learn about meter, rhyme and rhythm in a new limerick session or use their senses in a first-time writing class.
In the final session, Pauly gave kindergartners a quick lesson in different types of books, then asked if anyone had seen a scroll.
"China people have them," Ekblad said.
"Santa has two of them, one naughty list and one good list," Ella Knakmuhs said.
After carefully following instructions on properly folding each section of the accordion book, students were then allowed to put a front and back cover on and draw their own pictures inside.
Using step-by-step instructions, students in Ed Fornberg's session drew pictures with oil pastel colors.
"Draw a grilled cheese (square)," said Fornberg, who teaches art in New Ulm, but lives in Walnut Grove. "Then get out the ketchup (red crayon)."
Fornberg then demonstrated a smearing technique to make the picture of a barn look more like a painting.
"He's very good," WWG second-grade teacher Monica Otto said. "He's usually here every year."
Then Fornberg explained what would happen if they had used the red color before the white one.
"It's like you can't put red clothes with whites," second-grader Orien Knakmuhs said.
Fornberg mixed in humor as everyone kept pace with their one-of-a-kind drawing.
"We're going to use 'excuse me, pardon me' lines now," he said, referring to the technique of skipping over certain areas that aren't meant to be colored. "Now we're going up to the roof. I hope you're not afraid of heights."
While students were to follow each step, Fornberg encouraged individual creativity with color choice.
"I like it when I look around and no two barns look the same," Fornberg said.
Near the end, students were asked to draw something they might see on a farm. Knakmuhs drew a green and yellow tractor, while Morgen Wersal chose to make a flower and a weathervane. David Lee also made a weathervane in addition to writing his name, while Daniel Haen drew a cat.
Sixth-grader Matthew Deprez tried weaving for the first time.
"It was fun," he said.
With bare feet and smiles, students also learned some basic Tae Kwon Do moves from instructors Jeff Meyer, Tonia Nordsiden and Samantha Meyer.
"Tae Kwon Do is for self defense only," Jeff Meyer said. "It's not to be used to beat up on your brothers or sisters."
Meyer pointed out that it can also be used to work out, but that the moves are not meant to hurt anyone.
"The first thing we do is bow," Meyer said. "It's a sign of respect."
After learning how to make a good fist, students were taught a number of kicks. Although the effort was there, some of the terminology didn't quite make the translation correctly. While reviewing, Meyer demonstrated a front snap kick and asked the kids for its name.
"It's a karate chop," one second-grade boy said.
Most of the students seemed to enjoy learning the new moves, though some performed them better than others.
"My favorite part was the Kung Fu," Wersal said of the day's activities.