Community News: Children’s Museum of Atlanta to exhibit art by Hollis students

Students from Hollis Innovation Academy in Atlanta’s historic Westside will have the opportunity to see themselves as real artists when their artwork is put on display in the Creativity Cove exhibit room at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta (CMA) on April 17. The Young Artists at Hollis Academy exhibit is part of the museum’s Connected Learning, Connected Communities outreach program where museum coordinators partner with sites, like Hollis, to host after school programs that support school curriculum.

The art project, funded by CMA partner Equifax, was inspired by artist Louise Nevelson, who used recycled objects to create intricate boxes. Guided by CMA outreach coordinators, students worked in pairs to create themes for their personal boxes. They then got to work: assembling their artwork, gluing together pieces and painting the box. The result was 14 beautiful and unique artworks. Jacqueline Smalley, CMA manager of school and outreach programs, Katherine Rattanawan, CMA arts educator, and Parker Singletary, CMA outreach educator, oversaw the project and assisted the young artists.

Students worked in small groups as they created their pieces of art.

“The students were really excited to see their themes come to life through their art. It was also encouraging to see the activation around parents and caregivers,” explains Karen Kelly, director of exhibits and education for Children’s Museum of Atlanta. “There’s a lot of momentum in empowering students as well as their families.”

CMA has supported and partnered with Hollis for the past nine years. Karen describes the partnership as an evolving one where CMA’s programming is regularly evaluated to ensure success. In describing feedback received recently, Kelly says, “What we hear from teachers is the programs do have an impact because they reinforce classroom curriculum, which helps kids get more engaged with the materials.”

“One of the things we’ve seen as the Westside community has evolved is the growing drive to provide quality programs and experiences, both in school and outside of the classroom,” says Kelly. She goes on to explain, “We want to empower communities to use the Children’s Museum as a resource and to understand what we have available as a resource for their kids and families. And, most importantly, help parents and caregivers see that playing and learning go together and should be fun!”

The exhibit was unveiled at Hollis on March 28 for students and families to preview before it goes on display to the general public in Creativity Cove April 17 through May 2. The young artists will be the first to see their work displayed in the museum the evening of April 17. “It will be a night to remember as these young artists see their art – a representation of their hard work – on display at a cultural institution,” says Kelly. “All are welcome to come view the exhibit. We encourage all other Hollis students and parents to attend and support their peers.”

Children’s Museum of Atlanta outreach coordinators assisted the students.