Franklin’s Third-Grade Student Artwork Inspired by Award-Winning Books | Local News

Franklin Elementary third-grade student Ricky Neidhamer drew inspiration for his artwork from a book about a man who cared for abandoned cats in Aleppo amid the Syrian civil war.

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza His Inspiration Page: Ricky Neidhamer, a third-grade student at Franklin Elementary School, finds the page from the book “”The Cat Man of Aleppo”” that inspired him to create a ceramic sculpture of a white dove on Thursday at the school library as part of the ‘Caldecott Art Show’.

The book, titled “The Cat Man of Aleppo” and based on a true story, includes images of doves flying in a beautiful blue sky. This prompted Neidhamer to make a ceramic sculpture of a white dove with outstretched wings in flight.

He chose the flying dove for his art because “it’s pretty,” he explained.

Now that art—and that of all Franklin third graders—is on display in the school library as part of the “Caldecott Art Show.”

The project received a grant from the Vigo County Education Foundation and is a collaboration between media scholar Amber Wigington and art teacher Jana Weeks. The grant enabled Wigington to purchase a number of Caldecott award-winning books, while Weeks was able to purchase additional enamels, which can be expensive.

Franklin's third-grade student artwork inspired by award-winning books

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Franklin Elementary School art teacher Jana Weeks.

Wigington describes to children what it means to win a Caldecott Prize when each book is read to classes, then children have the opportunity to create a favorite character from the book; the children shape the clay into their art pieces, which are fired in a kiln. Then they apply a glaze and write an artist statement.

“They feel like a professional artist,” Weeks said. “It’s a sensational project. It inspires them. »

This is the fourth year of the program and it creates special memories for the children. “They take great pride in their work,” Wigington said.

The Caldecott Awards honor the most distinguished American picture book artists for children.

Another student, Elexcia Flowers, chose to make a ceramic piece of a frog in a lake. The inspiration was a picture book called “Tuesday,” in which frogs rise on their water lilies, float through the air, and explore nearby homes while their inhabitants sleep, according to one description. The book also featured floating pigs.

“My favorite animal is a frog and I thought it would be hard for me to do that,” Flowers said.

Third-grade student Mason Tingley captured a night sky full of colorful stars in his book-based artwork ‘Many Moons’, about a princess who gets sick, and only one thing will make her better: the moon .

He chose the one-page subject of the book because “it looks beautiful,” Tingley said.

Addyson Steele chose the book “Finders Keepers” and his sculpture depicts two dogs who decided to share a bone after originally arguing.

“We have to shape the clay the way we wanted” and get creative with the details, Steele said. “After seeing the results, I absolutely loved it.”

Franklin's third-grade student artwork inspired by award-winning books

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Jane Nichols, executive director of the Vigo County Education Foundation.

Jane Nichols, Executive Director of the Vigo County Education Foundation, said of the program, “I like the collaborative effort between the art teacher and the media specialist. I love how they bring beautiful artwork and illustrations into students’ lives and let them create,” while encouraging the enjoyment of reading.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or [email protected] Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.

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