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Young artists showcase work at school Gallery Night

"The second annual Gallery Night, sponsored by the Art Docent program of the PTA and South Whidbey School District, will be held on Monday, April 24 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Intermediate School gymnasium. The community is cordially invited.Gallery Night is a showcase of art done in the kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms through the art docent program, whose goal is to stimulate children's awareness of art at an early age and help them understand its processes through appreciation and participation. The displayed works are the children's art response to studying artists from Rembrandt and Renoir to O'Keeffe, Utrillo and others. Along with 400 individual works on display, the Cafe d'Artistes will be selling assorted baked masterpieces and other refreshments. The atmosphere will be festive with living art provided by Clinton Nursery. Parents and family will also have the opportunity to purchase assorted gifts, emblazoned with their children's own unique creations. This year's event has further been expanded to include art as expressed through the medium of dance, with two performances of a post-modern dance expression of Whistler's Mother as choreographed by Dr. Susan Sandri. The art docent program consists of a series of brief studies of the works of famous artists, explained docent Barb Bennett. Each art docent unit has been selected for a particular grade level to offer a progressive understanding of artists, their methods and their messages. Each month, the art docent presents a lesson that introduces a particular artist and guides the class through a discussion and follow-up art project, Bennet said. Benefits of the program include development of creative thinking, emotional release, strengthening of self-concept, communication and heightening aesthetic awareness. The South Whidbey Art Docent program has been in existence for five years and has grown to include the three dimensional glass art of Northwest artists, purchased by a grant from the South Whidbey Schools Foundation. Last year the program purchased a large glass bowl by Dan and Joi LaChausee and a mysterious lamp by David Leonard."

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