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Lake Shore Middle School students soar at Art Aviators

May 23, 2016 // by Elizabeth Miron

Clay, yarn, paint, and even remote control cars inspired Art Aviators students from Lake Shore Middle School to create artwork while building communications skills and fostering self-expression.

Art Aviators Lake Shore Remote Control Painting b
Students drive remote control cars over wet paint to create abstract art. Image courtesy of Jaclyn Gallagher.

Art Aviators is MOCA Jacksonville's educational initiative designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other exceptionalities. The students from Lake Shore visited the Museum four times between January and April, participating in a variety of hands-on activities during each trip. Each activity targets a variety of therapeutic outcomes, such as:

  • Improving social skills
  • Encouraging emotional regulation
  • Improving fine and gross motor skills
  • Decreasing anxiety
  • Increasing focus
  • Improving self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Increasing creative self-expression
  • Increasing abstract thinking skills and imagination
  • Improving visual-spatial skills
Art Aviators Lake Shore Mixed Media Fiber c
Art Aviators students create and abstract painting then attach fiber, yarn, zip-ties, and other materials. Image courtesy of Jaclyn Gallagher.

While at MOCA, students created terra cotta pinch bowls, tape resist paintings, weavings, and other mixed-media projects. The students collaborated on an abstract painting on a wooden board. Then Museum educators attached chicken wire to board and asked students to attach fiber, yarn, zip-ties, and other materials. When students work together to complete this project, they enhance their social skills by sharing in the experience of art-making together. 

Students also created a painting without even using a brush. Museum educators poured different colors of paint over a flat bed sheet as students took turns racing remote control cars over the paint. The students practice their motor skills by manipulating the remote controls to drive the cars over the wet paint. The resulting abstract painting was mounted and installed at their school.

After the students completed all of their classes, MOCA Jacksonville visited Lake Shore with cookies, juice, and their artwork. The event gave the students a chance to view their work and celebrate their artistic accomplishments with their peers and teachers.

Art Aviators Lake Shore Media Room e
Students celebrate in the Lake Shore media room with cookies, juice, and their artwork. Image courtesy of Jaclyn Gallagher.

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