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Art Education in Schools

The Firehouse Art Center is the foremost provider of art education programming in Norman’s public elementary schools, and has invested over $179,000 in these outreach programs, which have reached over 15,000 students since 2007.

The FAC currently provides visual arts education to Norman public elementary schools through both full-time education at Lincoln Elementary and part-time, project-based programming at additional Title I schools. All of the FAC's art education in schools (AES) projects are developed to introduce art education in a way that connects students’ primary education curriculum with the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Fine Arts: Visual Arts guidelines.


A Bright Idea for Kennedy Elementary!
Figurative Language Mural Project

The Firehouse Art Center and the students and teachers at Kennedy Elementary collaborated on a figurative language mural project, “A Bright Idea for Kennedy Elementary!” During a six-day period, all 434 students participated in the creation of six 4’ x 8’ murals illustrating several examples of figurative language: simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, idioms, and clichés. Following the completion of the project, the final murals were permanently installed at Kennedy Elementary and revealed during a dedication ceremony on May 22nd.

The project was designed to use visual art as an alternative method of learning to engage a full range of students with one of their most difficult curriculums: figurative language usage and comprehension. Students finished the project with a greater comprehension and understanding of figurative language, while having developed pride and unity within their school.
Growing Things: Community Building Through the Arts

The Firehouse Art Center partnered with five Norman Public Schools for the project Growing Things: Community Building Through the Arts. The project includes K-5 students from each of the participating schools, who worked as a community to create and add their contributions to a final installation exhibition at the FAC Gallery. Growing Things utilized the elements of design, printmaking and sculpture techniques, the PASS standards for art education, and both humane and environmental information to teach the students involved. Through this education, the project to engaged students in a community wide activity that furthered their knowledge and appreciation for art, culture, community, and the world in which they live. The work produced from Growing Things transformed the FAC Gallery into a captivating forest installation for the January 11th 2nd Friday Circuit of Art. With over 1,000 children and artists participating in January, the exhibition will continued to “grow” and included an additional 1,000 children’s efforts for the February 8th opening.

Learn more about Growing Things (PDF) »
Truman Elementary - Trailblazer Murals, School Beautification Project

The Firehouse Art Center partnered with Truman Elementary to develop a mural project that would challenge student's notions of what it means to be a "trailblazer." While painting the mural, students were asked questions about what being a trailblazer, the school's symbolic mascot, meant to them. The three resulting murals are now installed at the school serving as beautifying elements that are a reminder of what can be acheived through creativity and innovation.
Jackson Elementary - Henri Rousseau Project

Two Firehouse faculty members provided instruction to 77 Jackson Elementary fifth graders to create the 6’x8’ tiger-themed mural pictured at left, based on the paintings of Henri Rousseau, which was dedicated to the school’s new wing as a parting gift from the graduating fifth grade class.
Truman Elementary - Trailblazer Banners, School Beautification Project

The Trailblazer Banner project ran in conjunction with the Vincent van --GOgh Starry Night project at Truman Elementary. While taking turns to work on the Starry Night mural and the banners, students learned about color theory and the principles of art, such as pattern, unity, harmony, and variety.

Truman Elementary - Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night Project

Twenty-five 4th grade students from Truman Elementary studied Vincent Van Gogh’s 1989 masterwork entitled “The Starry Night”.  The budding art students spent seven hours painting their interpretation of “The Starry Night,” complete with the Norman water tower.  The finished painting is 4’ x 6’ and will be displayed at Truman elementary in September 2011.

Truman Primary - Tessera Project
Truman Primary - Miró Banners
Truman Elementary & Truman Primary - Mount Fuji Project

Led by Firehouse Art Center instructors, the students of Truman Elementary & Truman Primary learned about the works of master artist Katsushika Hokusai while creating their own versions of his Mount Fuji series.

The Green Wave

The Green Wave Project, May 8 – June 26, 2009, involved five public schools, 117 children, the Mayor of Norman, two city councilmen, the Director of Fine Arts in the Norman Public Schools, 20 teachers, 21 professional artists, 12 staff members and one local sculpture company. The Green Wave consisted of 125 painted fish flying through the air at the Firehouse Art Center, eight reproduced master works by Ellsworth Kelly, 26 photographs of the entire process, a 600 pound, eight-foot fish exploding out of the ground on Flood Avenue and three, four by eight foot murals based on Hokusai’s “The Great Wave,” displayed in Lions Park.

Learn more about The Green Wave (PDF) »