Blog: 1 March 2010

Monday, March 1


Camden, NJ Monday, March 1, 2010: This Monday at 12:40pm, a group of  3rd-5th graders  from UrbanPromise will walk the halls of the Philadelphia Art Museum and get to experience an exhibit of artworks that shook the art world nearly a hundred years ago, and continues to influence contemporary artists today.

Picasso and the Avant Garde in Paris, which opened this week at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is an extensive look at Cubism in its many forms. Third, fourth and fifth grade students at UrbanPromise’s CamdenForward School have begun to explore the theories of Picasso and fellow artist, Georges Braque in art lessons that focus on still life and portraiture.

Art teachers Karen Baker and Julie Kring-Schreifels are thrilled to be able to offer students this opportunity to come face to face with these compelling works. The trip is offered through a grant from the museum and the non-profit, Art Aware, that supports the arts in Camden Schools.

Students from UrbanPromise will venture later this month to a presentation of Stravinsky’s The Firebird at the Kimmel Center and in April, The Lion King at The Academy of Music. Barbara Pfeiffer, founder and director of Art Aware has long taught and promoted arts education throughout Camden schools.

“Trips to cultural events, museums in particular, enhance learning about the arts like nothing else I know,” commented art teacher, Julie Kring-Schreifels. “Our students come alive when confronted by artwork that challenges them and helps them see the world in new ways. The museum guides are so well trained to open the eyes of the students to the collection that I always come away from the experience wanting to do this every week!”

And the students are creating some masterpieces themselves in their own, newly renovated art studio on the UrbanPromise campus in Camden.

On any given day students of all ages are working on paintings, sculptures, printmaking or batiks inspired by artists whose work speaks across the ages and cultural barriers. From self-taught, rural Idaho artist, James Castle, to Philadelphia native portrait artist, Barclay Hendricks, and now Picasso and Braque, UrbanPromise students are truly becoming “art aware”.

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