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Leviner completes arts residency at Spring Ridge Elementary

Reach Beyond the Sky
Beverly Leviner, adjunct instructor of integrative arts at Penn State Berks, has completed an artist-in-residency project at the Spring Ridge Elementary School in the Wilson School District. The dedication of the mural, titled “Reach Beyond the Sky,” will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, from 2:00–3:10 p.m. in conjunction with an art show and a special performance by the kindergarten as well as first and second grades.  This event is free and open to the public.

Students in Leviner’s art education class “The Visual Arts in Elementary School,” part of the Elementary and Kindergarten Education degree program at Penn State, each made a clay tile symbolizing community and helped the children with the installation of the mural.

Rebecca Werner, junior Elementary Education major, commented, “There is something uplifting about seeing students create their own masterpieces.”

The 13’ x 9’ mural features six birds, which represent the areas of study at Spring Ridge including language, science, math, sports, social studies, and art.

Students in fourth and fifth grade, as well as parents and teachers from Spring Ridge, were given the opportunity to work closely with Leviner during the 60-day residency.

The students wrote essays discussing why they wanted to work on this project and three to four students from each class were chosen based on these essays. This core group of 27 students worked with Leviner to choose the mural’s theme and design. They came in before school for several weeks and decided on the theme, chose the look of the mural from sketches provided by Leviner, and created the title of the mural.

Each student from kindergarten to fifth grade made a clay tile, which was then fired in the kiln. After firing, each tile was glazed and then fired again. Many parents and member of the core group provided assistance by coming to the school for an evening glazing party.

Mary Lynn Krippe, an art teacher at Spring Ridge, collaborated with Leviner on the design and devoted her class time and expertise to the project. “It was wonderful working with the artist, Beverly Leviner, and for the community and especially for the children to have this experience.”

The residency was supported in part by the Millersville University: South Central PaARTners, and the arts-in-education program, supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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