By Jamie Hunt

Michelle Bussey, Director of MEDIA after school art program for Lindsay Unified School District, met with a second and third grade class at Jefferson Elementary School in Lindsay on Friday, Feb. 17.

Bussey had pictures by Georgia O'Keefe and a brief history of her early life which she explained to the school children. With interesting questions throughout the class Bussey asked the students what they had learned about the famous artist and what she did at an early age.

&#8220Does everyone have an imagination?” asked Bussey. The students answered with a resounding &#8220Yes!”. Bussey explained that imagination comes from someone's own ideas. She then asked &#8220What do artists use to make art?” One student said, &#8220They use paints and colors.” That student got a round of applause from the whole class.

She then asked a series of questions about what types of materials artists can use. &#8220Can an artist use a pencil?” Yes, answered the students. &#8220Can an artist use scissors, leaves, water?” &#8220Yes, an artist can use all of these media.” &#8220What can't an artist use?” asked Bussey. &#8220Air!”

Bussey explained to the kids that the most important thing to an artist is imagination.

When the class got too excited, Bussey instructed the students to touch their toes 10 times. What a great way for kids to get their &#8220ya,ya's” out. She then said the most important rule was to be quiet when she was speaking.

Bussey then told the students about Georgia O'Keefe when she was a young child. &#8220Georgia lived on a large farm with her Mom and Dad in Wisconsin. She did not want to play when she was in kindergarten, but collected leaves, stones and things that were lying around the farm. She looked at flowers and observed everything around her and drew constantly.

Her mother looked at Georgia's drawings and thought that she was very good. Georgia knew what she loved to do, and didn't want to do anything else. Her mother decided to send her to art classes. Georgia then decided to go to art school, but at art school the teacher told her that you have to draw the sun just so and it has to be yellow, the trees have to be brown, and the leaves green.

The teacher was telling Georgia to be conventional. Georgia would have none of it, and continued to draw and paint with her own style.” Bussey then showed the students how to use chalk pastels and blend them.

&#8220Use the chalk dust and blend it together with your fingertips. Use the sides of your chalks to draw.” instructed Bussey with the students first drawings.

&#8220We are going to use line, shape and color to create something today.”

All of the students were so excited and interested to draw with the chalk pastels that they created some wonderful images. Many students continued to work on their original drawings which they elaborated. For instance Angel Sanchez started with a flower, which he continued to work on, and by the end of class he had a flower in the rain. It was raining outside of the cafetorium.

Bussey finished the class asking the students, &#8220What is the most important thing in an artists brain?” The class replied, &#8220Imagination!” Bussey then had all the kids clean up all their art supplies, which she said was an important thing that artists do.

Many of the second and third graders produced some wonderful pictures, which will be displayed for a month along with the Georgia O'Keefe prints and historical information in the Jefferson Elementary School Cafetorium.

The display will be part of a month long after school art class hosted by Michelle Bussey and her MEDIA program at Jefferson Elementary school. After a month, the MEDIA program will then transfer to Washington Elementary School with a project featuring Piet Mondrian; collage and painting.

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