Fourth-grade students in Justin Terrill’s art classes at FishHawk Creek Elementary School have created wonderful works of art that were showcased at ROSSAC, located at 901 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa, during the month of October. The exhibit is called A World of Color: Color Wheel Eyes.
Terrill explained the concept: “I like to begin the year with different color wheel projects with each grade as a means of reviewing concepts covered the previous school year. With proportion also being a principle of art that fourth-graders need to learn, the eye worked perfectly for the grade level.”
Terrill added, “This particular project reviewed color theory while also introducing students to the principle of proportion, which they are using now on the realistic self-portraits that they are now creating in class.”
Art education is an important but often overlooked discipline.
Terrill said, “In school, there is an emphasis on testing and left-side-of-the-brain skills such as grammar, computation and logic. The right side of the brain is often overlooked in today’s classrooms. This is the part of the brain responsible for spatial relationships, abstract meaning and imagination, all of which are used in the art classroom. It is imperative that the arts are not only provided in schools for students that are right-side-of-the-brain dominant but also to create well-rounded individuals ready to tackle real-world, 21st century problems.”
Moreover, giving students an opportunity to have their work shown is an important aspect of the creation process. Terrill said, “I am a huge advocate of public art and showcasing student work and ideas with those in the community. Art is a very powerful means of communication and, when used appropriately, can inspire change.”
One of Terrill’s students whose work was selected for the exhibit is Trey Baroni, who said, “I love art and getting into all the details and shading. I love my school, and art allows me to show my creative side.”
Terrill has been a Hillsborough County teacher for many years. He has been teaching art for 10 years and in 2015 he was selected as Hillsborough County Elementary Art Teacher of the Year.
At FishHawk Creek Elementary, Terrill said, “I not only teach the standards but challenge my students to put forth their best individual effort. I am not looking for the next Monet or Van Gogh, but I am looking to get the best effort out of everyone who steps foot in my room.”