K-4 students get their art displayed at UT Tyler Fine Arts Complex

“I like to think of it as an art world.”
6 a.m. GMET recording
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 12:06 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The white gallery walls of UT Tyler’s Fine Arts Complex are painted with masterpieces from students, but these artists aren’t in college -- they’re in elementary school.

Amy Dennis, Director at University Academy in Tyler said, “this is the first time that we’ve had so many of our scholars have their artwork showcased.”

UT Tyler graduate student Heather McCullin taught her kindergarten through fourth grade students each about a variety of famous artists and how they created their pieces. The students used the artists’ processes like listening to music, or painting with words to inspire their own artwork. Then McCullin got each piece displayed from inside the Fine Arts Complex.

When we asked what it’s like seeing your own work hung up high for everyone to see, Jagger Greer, a first grader from the Academy, said “I like to think of it as an art world,”

Some students painted, others made sculptures. As Jagger likes to put it, “with art you can just kind of be like, free and creative.”

University Academy Director, Amy Dennis, said it was interesting to see how one artist inspired an entire grade level to incorporate different parts of themselves into their piece.

For example, she pointed out one wall with projects from students, and highlighted that, “they all found objects to put in here, but you can see each one is unique and different.”

When we asked some of the students what it was like to create these projects they each emphasized the feeling of freedom that comes with creating art.

Although these little artist likes to this of the gallery as their own -- they’re willing to share

According to Jagger, “it’s like our own private world, but other people can come see it.”

Due to the pandemic, foot traffic isn’t what it was at the Fine Arts Complex, but one gallery coordinator says within the past week and a half, they’ve had a lot of proud parents and students coming through to see the artwork.

If you’d like to see it for yourself you can but time is running out. The exhibit will be on display for anyone who’d like to take a closer look until Friday, May 28th.

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