Miller-Driscoll second graders create Matisse-inspired art

Thanks to Miller-Driscoll second graders, Henri Matisse-inspired works of art adorn the walls of the south-end of the school.

Second grade art classes viewed a presentation about Mr. Matisse and his cut-outs, which are currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

“With the Matisse show coming to the MoMA, we started off the school year by giving each class a color and then each child made their own version of Matisse’s cut-outs,” said Karin Brooks, who led the Matisse project with fellow art teacher Jennifer Eyikan.

“The kids saw the Matisse presentation and each made their own take on Matisse and their own collage, and then we put them together into a group collaborative project.”

The students created interesting cut-outs — ranging from animals to plants to abstract shapes.

“When you look at some of the things that the kids have included into their project, you’ll find things that are incredible sometimes,” said Ms. Brooks.

“The idea was that as you’re cutting, if it reminds you of something — that’s kind of how artists work.”

Ms. Brooks said she and Ms. Eyikan used Matisse as a kick-off for second grade painting this year, and the students have been learning about still lifes, how artists like Matisse use basic shapes to paint them, and have been creating their own Matisse-inspired works of art.

“They looked at Matisse’s work and used primary colors and black and white to create their own still lifes,” she said.

“The paintings are just beautiful. The children mixed all the colors and made wonderful paintings with great color exploration.”

Ms. Brooks said the second graders will eventually begin studying the work of Vincent van Gogh.

“The kids will wind up comparing the style of two artists by looking at Matisse’s work and getting familiar with that, and then I’ll start pulling out the van Gogh work and ask them, ‘What’s the difference?’” said Ms. Brooks.

“We start playing games of can-you-identify-his-work? — ‘Van Gogh or No’ — it’s a great game.”