Diane Weber’s class at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic School got started on its textile art career last year as first-graders after reading “James and the Giant Peach.”
Together with quilter Mickey McReynolds, the class produced a bed-sized peach quilt that was sold at the school’s benefit auction.
Building on last year’s success, the now-second-graders picked birds with musical instruments as a theme for this year and produced a series of paintings.
The paintings were blown up 200 times and transferred to fabric, and they have now been turned into wall hangings, posters and cards.
Some of the work can be seen and purchased at Artemis in downtown Spokane during First Friday on May 3.
The class explained that inspiration for this year’s theme came from two figurines in the art room: a colorful parrot and a chubby chicken.
“We picked birds and musical instruments,” said Graham Cleveland, 7.
Connor Te, 7, painted a parrot playing the bass.
He explained that McReynolds helped the class with the project.
“She printed the paintings out and made them much bigger,” Connor said.
When asked if the class would get the money raised by the art sale, everyone shook their heads no.
“The money is going to the school’s art class,” Connor said.
McReynolds initially got involved because her grandson Cameron Magnuson is in Weber’s class.
“They did everything last year,” McReynolds said. “They traced the fabric for the quilt and cut the pieces out and did it all.”
This year, the young artists also applied beads to some of the fabric creations.
The class worked together on turning seven paintings into wall hangings, every student doing a little bit on each piece of art.
McReynolds said, pointing to a glittery painting of a peacock, “Let me tell you, they know exactly where their personal bead is on that painting.”
Art teacher Nancy Giese said it’s been a blessing having McReynolds involved with the class.
“It has just been a gift,” Giese said while hugging McReynolds. “The kids are so confident now when they draw and paint. They never say, ‘I don’t know what to draw.’ They just jump right in.”
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