Third grade recently visited Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, a field trip designed as a collaborative arts experience supplementing their studies on American artists at home and abroad. Selections from the Cheekwood Permanent Collection from artists Childe Hassam, Alexander Calder, and Red Grooms were on display to tell the story of American artists journeying across the world, drawing influence from other cultures.
Instructor of Elementary School Visual Arts Ian Mullins-Zugelder led the collaboration process, working with Artistic Director Paula Flautt, and mentoring classroom teachers through artistic exercises in preparation for their work with students at Cheekwood. The day included exploration of the domestic arts on display in the mansion, the outdoor sculpture trail, and the gardens.
“Students had the opportunity to relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen their understanding of art and life. They were able to perceive, analyze, and interpret meaning from what they saw,” explained Mullins-Zugelder.
Flautt explains CPA's arts integration work as a combination of “art for art's sake” and “art for learning's sake” based on the Lincoln Center model in New York City, the Kennedy Center, and the Wolf Trap Institute, both in Washington, D.C.
“For students to take in art through actual experiences and then integrate it with other forms of study creates an energizing atmosphere that accelerates both artistic and academic work,” says Flautt.
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Christ Presbyterian Academy is a private, coeducational, college-preparatory school for grades preschool through 12. The Academy provides transformational education through a Christian worldview and offers extensive programs to develop the diverse potential of each student. CPA is a ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Nashville, Tennessee.