By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
Edison Elementary School art teacher Jill Linnell is introducing her kindergarten and first grade students to masters of the art world.
During a recent art presentation, Linnell’s students displayed over 200 of their own creations inspired by the works of Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Gustav Klmit, Wassily Kandinsky and others.
“These kids are way past stick figures,” Linnell said. “ They are inspired by each artist and love learning about them.”
A graduate of Texas Woman’s University, Linnell has been teaching art at Edison for seven years.
In addition to instructing students on techniques used by renowned artists, Linnell finds inspiration in children’s book illustrations.
“Giraffe’s Can’t Dance” is a class favorite, she said, pointing out the students’ colorful renditions of dancing giraffes along an auditorium wall.
“This is the first art show we’ve had at Edison but it won’t be the last,” Linnell said. “We hope to make this an annual event.”
Linnell is planning her next lessons around the work of Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. The students will focus on sunflowers, one of his best known subjects.
“In studying van Gogh, the lesson is more than just about his painting,” Linnell said. “We are also learning about how to treat others. Van Gogh was ridiculed most of his life and the kids learn how important it is to accept how people are different and not make fun of them.”
Linnell’s lessons also nurture students’ self-esteem.
“No mistakes are wrong in our classes,” Linnell said. “If someone thinks they made a mistake, another finds the mistake uniquely beautiful and we all applaud the efforts.”