Arts Alive showcases works by Dirigo Elementary School students

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PERU — Van Gogh-inspired sunflowers, black Grecian urns trimmed in gold and silver, and highly decorated elephants are among the brightly-colored art pieces lining the walls of Dirigo Elementary School.

It’s Arts Alive time.

Children in grades kindergarten to five have been creating artwork for several weeks. Fifth-grader Karizma Chickering fashioned one of the black Grecian urns.

“It was hard to design and I had to be careful not to rip the paper,” she said. The black paper was etched with gold or silver designs.

The fifth-grade was also studying Greek temples. At least one class created classic Doric columns or fancy Ionic or Corinthian ones.

First-graders designed and colored Cezanne-like apple pictures, while third-graders drew dolphins or other animals.

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Also dressing up the walls were colorful Asian robots, trees designed according to Wassily Kandinsky paintings, artwork reflecting a “Ship Shape” theme, and warm- and cool-feeling landscapes.

First-grader Noah Prescott was one child who created a Kandinsky-type tree.

“I cut out big circles and little circles to make a tree. I used my favorite colors, orange, brown, blue and green,” he said.

Hundreds of paintings and collages, hung according to grade and design, engaged the senses. The artwork will be on display until May.

Along with artwork were concerts.

Music teacher Scott Dunbar said the aim was to bring cultural awareness to the students, both visually and musically.

Kindergarten through grade two children sang Korean, Japanese and Jordanian songs Tuesday night. On Wednesday, grades three through five played instruments for songs from Japan, Russia, Mongolia and Israel. Dunbar said the turnout from the community was good.

Downstairs in the library, a book fair was set up with the focus on Middle Eastern and Asian books.

Third-grader Isabella Lindus said the books, music and artwork showed what life is like in other countries.

“In Korea, they do chores at home and at school. I do chores at home by cleaning my cat’s litter box,” she said.

Art teacher Karen Thayer spearheaded the organization of the annual event.

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