What a busy and art filled year

The end of the school year is approaching and we have had a wonderful time in the art room. The students have been developing their creative and technical skills and have immersed themselves in many different media/materials. They have talked about art, thought about art and created art!


The Kindergarteners have explored many new concepts and materials. Here is what we have been looking at and creating in the art room:

Students looked at illustrations of Eric Carle and his method of painting his own papers for his collages. They made their own painted paper with rollers with different patterns and then cut organic shapes the next week for a collage.

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Students brought in their favorite stuffed animal and drew them- (with a lot of love…) They added a painted background using tempera cakes which create bright, beautiful colors similar to watercolors.

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First Graders learned about radial design and we talked about different examples in nature and more-

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We talked about geometric shapes and organic shapes and abstract painting. Students created a shapes painting with the primary colors. The next week they used black and white paint for designs and a variety of lines to highlight shapes and areas of their painting.

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Second Graders created beautiful landscapes using torn papers in a collage. They learned to overlap their pieces and “paint with paper”-

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Third graders learned about a new printmaking technique- collagraphs. They created a collage with a variety of textured papers/materials and then glued them on a backing. They covered the collage with gesso paint to seal their printing plate. Black  ink was rolled onto the plate the next week – Here are the beautiful prints- The printing plate is next to it-

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We talked about architecture and looked at a variety of books of buildings throughout history and around the world. Students created a charcoal drawing postcard of an existing building or a building from their imagination. They also created  their own postcard stamp after looking at the work of Donald Evans.

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Fourth graders finished a painting influenced by the artist Frank Stella and Minimalism. We looked at work by Mondrian and students responded with thoughtful observations to the works shown.

They began with a square piece of paper and a ruler dividing the space in an interesting way and then cutting parts out of the paper. We will be painting them with color later- learning about analogous and complementary colors as well as shades and tints.

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Fifth graders completed their acrylic paintings. They concentrated on texture and layering colors-

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Students learned about Pop Art and the interesting artist Andy Warhol. They had a choice of a multiple print or a large painting of an everyday object influenced by his work.

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Thank you for a wonderful year!  All student work will be coming home next week-enjoy sharing it all with your child/children-  I have so enjoyed working with them this year! I look forward to seeing everyone in August- Happy Summer!



Creativity in our Art Room

It was so great to see everyone at Open House! There were so many parents and friends and students supporting our Wade Thomas artists. It is an amazing sight to see my students’ work hanging up-showing such creativity, individuality and personal expression. I know they were excited to share their art with all of you- Remember that all of their art work (aside from their clay projects) will be returned all together at the end of the year.

Here are some photos of our Pop Art Food Sculpture and Recycled Chairs displayed at Open House:

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Here is what we have been creating in the Art Room this month:

Kindergarteners created a self portrait relief print. They were excited to learn about a new printing technique. They draw on foam plates with a pencil, then apply ink with a roller and use a barren to rub the printing plate on to the paper.

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We also celebrated spring with a painting of flowers after reading the book Planting a Rainbow. Students mixed colors and thought about shapes and line when creating their flowers.

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First Graders created blueprints after  hearing the wonderful book Iggy Peck Architect. They used blue paint and pieces of cardboard to create their lines on graph paper. They were excited to imagine their buildings/houses/castles…

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They will be starting a tissue paper collage in warm or cool colors and create a line painting with a nature theme-


Second Graders have been learning about Chinese brush painting and have created a painting overlapping a watercolor wash. They learned a new technique using bamboo brushes and ink and painted a branch capturing it’s beauty…

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Third graders learned about the artist and architect Hundertwasser who used spirals in his paintings to symbolize life- they are learning more about mixing colors and creating a spiral painting of their own.

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Fourth graders are creating a two color relief print of an animal showing texture and line- it is a two part process and develops a deeper understanding of the printing process.

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Fifth graders have just begun an acrylic painting on a canvas board. They will be showing texture and learning more about color mixing through exploration of a new painting medium.

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Happy Spring! Thanks for visiting and hope to see all of you soon!

Jenni Bahrt

WT Art Teacher




What’s Happening in the Art Room

We have been creating with clay, clay, clay in the art room! Animals, dinosaurs, African masks and Pop Art food fill every flat surface- Take a peak inside the art room to see the wonderful creative clay work!


I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our Open House April 7th. Fourth and Fifth grade art will be displayed in the art room and other grades will have their art work in their classroom. We also have art work displayed at the Fairfax Library this month and there is Wade Thomas art work in the display case at Red Hill. (through next week)

Kindergarteners painted a heartfelt family portrait in black and white.

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Students used the letters in their name in a graphic way in an oil pastel and watercolor resist. We talked about hiding the letters and making thick, thin, fancy, upper and lower case letters.

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First graders created a clay octopus for their tide pool studies in their classroom. They glazed them and will take them home next month.

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We also started an African mask painting influenced by examples of masks from West Africa. We talked about how masks have been used in various cultures. Students looked at and created symmetry within their mask. They will be filling these in with color over the next two classes.

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Second graders are studying dinosaurs and created their own unique dinosaur with clay. We will be glazing them in the next couple of weeks.

They also completed their family portraits and had fun mixing colors. I love this project because I learn a little more about each student…

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Third grade students are studying an animal and writing a report in their classroom. In the art room students created a clay sculpture of their animal. These animals have a lot of personality! They will be glazing them over the next few weeks.

We began a chalk pastel and glue project that reminds me of stained glass. Students chose an animal and used Elmers glue to create lines on the black paper. When the glue dries students fill in all the areas with colorful chalk pastel. The glue lines appear black and resemble lead.

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Fourth graders spent several weeks sewing their own original soft sculpture. Many students took their creature home. They were so fun and students were very enthusiastic about their creations. The art room was busy every lunch time with fourth graders. ( I open every day during lunch time for students to work on their art)

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Students learned about Pop Art and looked at many artists including Andy Warhol, Claus Oldenberg and Wayne Thiebaud. They chose a food to create in clay and will be glazing them soon.

Fifth graders created clay masks influenced by images of African masks. Many students chose an animal for their subject- They used techniques learned throughout the years and also learned new techniques.

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Students started a recycled chair project- We are using different wires, cardboard, fabric, old slides, wooden pieces and various other materials. I showed them a chair contest from Design Within Reach where artists and designers make a chair from the cork, wire, and foil of a champagne bottle. Google it- really fantastic pieces.

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See more creative chairs at Open House!

A reminder that all of your student’s art work will come home at the end of the year. Usually three dimensional work comes home when finished, but I am saving clay pieces for Open House.  Please feel free to come into the art room whenever you would like to see what we are doing!  See you soon-


Jenni Bahrt

Wade Thomas Art Teacher




Warm thanks to Wade Thomas Parents and Art Students

We had a very busy and fun Family Art Night last week! Thank you to everyone who attended- it is my favorite night at our school- What could be better than seeing parents and children making art together and letting their imagination and artistic sensibilities go wild?! Thank you to all my fabulous helpers who made set up and clean up easy- I appreciate all the kind words I have received about the evening and all the support for our art program- With the many, many families in the art room I know that art is considered an important part of your child’s education. If you missed it, we will be having another Family Art Night next year-

Here is what we have been doing in our weekly art classes in Kindergarten:

Students learned about ceramics and created a pinch pot. They are in the kiln for their first firing and students will be glazing them next art class. They will take them home in the next couple of weeks. They were very excited to explore this new medium and had time to just play with the clay as well  as learning the pinch pot technique.

Here is a before and after of the first bisque firing- Glazing is next!

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We learned about Matisse and his colorful paper collages created in his later years that he called “Drawing with Scissors”. Students used scissors to cut out interesting organic shapes and learned about overlapping shapes and colors to create an interesting collage.

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First graders are learning how to sew on burlap. They learned the running stitch and are sewing on patches of colored burlap to their background piece. They are also learning how to attach beads to create an interesting sampler.


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Second graders continued and finished their Eric Carle inspired collage animal. They are hanging in the office now- Hope you can take a look!

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The second graders just began a family portrait painting after looking at a wonderful book showing photographs of families around the world. They will be filling them in with color.

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Third Graders just completed their Self Portrait collage- I can tell who they are even without their name!

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Fourth Graders completed their Self Portraits. They combined painting, collage and drawing, both charcoal pencil and color pencils. They also learned about proportions.

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Fifth graders are working on a mixed media self portrait combining a watercolor background and a self portrait print. They are then free to use any medium to express their dreams, thoughts or interests. It has been wonderful to see these art works develop.

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Until my next post…Have a wonderful winter break and Happy Valentines Day from the Art Room!

Jenni Bahrt

WT Art Teacher






Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

It has been great to see all my art students this week! Everyone is enthusiastic and refreshed and ready for creating art- I have so many ideas for my students- through exploring new materials, learning about new artists and stretching their imagination-

This is what we began this week-

Kindergarteners painted trees after listening to the book A Tree is Nice. We peeked out the window at beautiful trees and stood up thinking of our bodies as trees. Next week students will paint lines to express weather- snow or wind or rain…They are studying about weather in their classroom.

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First graders finished a drawing to music project. Students looked at and studied an abstract painting by Kandinsky. They came up with such interesting observations about his artwork focusing on line, shape and color. I played a variety of music including Stravinsky and Kronos Quartet and Dave Brubeck and students used oil pastels to make a variety of lines they imagined when listening. They added a watercolor wash concentrating on color and shape.

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Students will be doing a sewing project next, with burlap and tapestry needles.


Second graders began an animal collage influenced by Eric Carle. We looked at a variety of his wonderful illustrations using the collage medium. They painted a piece of paper with a variety of color and texture that they will use the next week to cut out their animal. This is one of my favorite projects!

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Third graders started a collage self portrait. We talked about face proportion and students cut out their face, eyes, nose and mouth. They will be using many different colored and textured papers to finish their creative self portraits. We looked at a wonderful book about self portraits called Look at Me. Here are some examples in progress…

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Fourth graders began a creative and different self portrait. They practiced the face proportions with pencil-you may have seen your child’s practice drawing that they brought home- the next week we concentrated on color and students could choose any colors to create their head and shoulders. They will be adding the features on colored papers and adding it in a collage technique. Here are some in progress examples…

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Fifth graders began a mixed media self portrait. We looked at this cover from The New Yorker depicting a person dreaming or thinking with their eyes closed. We also looked at the work of Marc Chagall and his dreamlike images. Students created a watercolor wash background. They will make a self portrait print of their face and then are free to choose from any materials to create images of their thoughts/dreams/ interests. I have heard so many creative ideas already and look forward to seeing the results. I know they will all be unique and reflect all the personalities that fill my art room!



I hope I will see you at Family Art Night on Wednesday, January 27th! It is a wonderful time to make art with your child and learn a bit more about what happens in the Wade Thomas art room- There will be sign ups so please look for more information coming your way…

Thanks and hope to see you soon!

Jenni Bahrt

Wade Thomas Art

Happy Holidays to All!

I send wishes for a happy and creative holiday season! Our students are happily engaged in learning and expressing themselves in the art room. Here are some examples of what they have been creating…

We read the wonderful book Where the Wild Things Are and students created their own Wild Thing with oil pastels. We thought of every detail that we could include to express a Wild Thing.(horns, fur,talons,tails) Students added a watercolor background the next class.

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Kindergarteners also learned about mixed media art. We looked at the work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg and created a collage with recycled dictionary pages. They painted an outline of an animal on top allowing the pages to show through.

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First graders are working on a space collage. Students painted paper in “space colors”. They experimented with texture with paint and brush strokes and printing and used the paper to cut out planets and other representations of space. They will be using silver paint for details to add dimension to their space scene.

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Second graders completed their cityscapes and many are hanging in our art room. I hope you can stop by and see them all together.

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We have started a study in lines and shapes. Students looked at an abstract painting by Kandinsky and we had a discussion on what we saw in the shapes and colors and lines.

I am so impressed at the thoughtful comments students shared. We talked about varieties of lines and students painted with black paint, then connecting them to make shapes. Students will fill these shapes in with color, practicing mixing colors with white to create  warm or cool colors.

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Third graders are creating a mixed media dragon art work. We looked at and read a book about dragons in many cultures. Students created their own dragon and painted a watercolor wash background. They will color their dragons with prismacolor pencils learning how to blend and layer colors.

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Fourth graders completed their watercolor landscapes and put together an accordian book. They are all on display in our school library- please come take a look!

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Students will be learning the proportions of the face this week and will be creating a self portrait in the next few weeks.


Fifth graders completed their organic shape sculptures. They used pens to paint patterns and designs following the lines and curves of their sculpture.  IMG_2312  IMG_2314   IMG_2308  IMG_2303IMG_2306  IMG_2317

Students are working on a collage and assemblage with recycled papers with varied textures and colors. We looked at the work of artists working with collage including Picasso and Jasper Johns. Students will add letters and numbers as part of their design.

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Warm wishes for a peaceful holiday! Thank you for supporting our art program and for sharing your wonderful and creative children-

All the best,

Jenni Bahrt

Wade Thomas Art
















Our Creative Art Students

Our students are settling into the art room and the new school year and are having fun creating and learning. They have completed projects and experimented with materials. There is incredible work displayed in the classroom, the library and the office. In later months student art work from Wade Thomas will be at Red Hill and at the Fair Anselm store front. I will keep you posted.

Here is what the Kindergarteners have been creating-

I read a wonderful book – Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert, one of my favorite children’s book authors/illustrators- We talked about shapes and students created their own collage animal with geometric shapes-

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We also read the book Not A Box which shows a rabbit making a cardboard box into a variety of imaginative playthings. Students drew their own idea of what they would make with their own box.

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Students also experimented with fall leaf rubbings and brought home their small accordian book. This is fun to do at home and it is finally feeling like Fall…

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First graders have just finished a Royal Portrait. We read the book I am Really a Princess and students painted a self portrait as either a king, queen, knight, prince, princess…

They have started painting them after beginning with black lines. We talked and practiced color mixing and the students are building on knowledge they have learned in the art room. This is one of my favorite projects and the students are very excited to portray themselves as royalty.

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Second graders learned about Adinkra cloth from West Africa and printmaking techniques. The Ashanti people create cloth with symbolic design and pattern. Students made a printing plate on foam and made up their own symbols and designs. They made four prints on a piece of paper, demonstrating a repeat pattern similar to the cloth.

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Third graders finished their textured landscapes. They created a landscape with either black or white paint on white or black paper and then later mixed many colors to overlap using the texture lines learned in their texture charts. There are many of these paintings in our school library so do take a look.

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We also learned a little about Cubism and the collages of Picasso and Braque. Students created a collage of various papers and then picked objects for observational drawings on top of the collage. They overlapped their drawings on the different colored papers and saw how the oil pastels varied in color on each part of the collage.

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Fourth graders are learning new watercolor techniques and have begun a watercolor California landscape relating to their study of California history. We spent a class period trying many different techniques including sprinkling salt on the wet paint and putting crinkled saran wrap on an area of color- making a very interesting texture. The watercolors will be folded into an accordian book when complete.

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Fifth graders finished their Dream Animal project using printing techniques and textured lines with chalk pastels. Every one was stunning and showed thought and creativity-

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Fifth grade students will start a three dimensional  sculpture project next-


I have been really enjoying getting to know my new students and kindergarteners and learning more about my returning students. I see such creativity and growth in every one of my students. There is a whole year ahead of us- full of exploration and art making!

Thank you for supporting our art program!

All the best,

Jenni Bahrt

Wade Thomas Art