Ann Arbor Art Walk to feature AAPS Student Work

Art teacher Karen McDonald puts together a tree made by Pattengill, Bryant and King Elementary students.
Art teacher Karen McDonald puts together a tree made by Pattengill, Bryant and King Elementary students.

By Tara Cavanaugh

On Friday night from 5-8 p.m., the third floor of Hollander’s in Kerrytown Shops will be full of student art from the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

As you go up the stairs to see the exhibit, what you’ll likely notice first is a huge, 10-foot tall tree.

The decoupaged tree is a three-school project, showing art from Bryant Elementary second graders, King Elementary fourth graders, and Pattengill fourth graders. 

The project was inspired by the work of “Spirit of Ann Arbor” artist Charles McGee, said Pattengill art teacher Karen McDonald. “His art was based on nature, texture, design, and of the natural elements.”

Each student came up with his or her own piece. Bryant students constructed the bark on the trunk, Pattengill students made the big branches and King students made the smaller branches.

“It’s a piece you’ll have to keep coming back to,” McDonald said. “Kids can actually find their own individual piece based on what they did and how they represented themselves.”

Inside the tree are birds’ nests the students created, so the art lesson also connected with life science lessons too.

The tree also represents a communal effort beyond the schools. Fingerle Lumber donated the cedar for the tree, parents Michael Kochman and Michael Murphy helped construct the base, and Annette Ferguson in the AAPS Business Partnerships Office contacted businesses to take turns displaying the art.

The Ann Arbor Art Walk includes ten area art galleries, studios and shops in the downtown area. The walk premiers Friday, June 21 from 5-9 p.m. (The Kerrytown exhibit is open until 8 p.m.) For more information, go to:

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