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Delivering Free K-5 Art Lessons conceived and inspired by working Northwest Artists

Art Literacy With Barbara & Artey

A key element of art education is what educators often refer to as “Art Literacy.” In this section – in conjuction with demonstrations of historical styles and using child-friendly media – these Barbara Mason lessons introduce major artists and movements in basic terms. These lessons – with demonstrations – provide students with a beginning introduction to and awareness of key artists and their styles, artwork and impact on other artists and art movements.

Michael Schlicting painting

This lesson discusses the impact, style and output of the French Impressionist painter and scupltor Edgar Degas, who was a contemporary and champion of impressionists including Mary Cassatt. His style and artwork was actually a mixture of older and newer styles. Degas was himself greatly influenced by the painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, who bridged the 18th and 19th century art styles..

Michael Schlicting painting

Artist and Educator Barbara Mason demonstrates different art styles and media as she discusses and creates images reflective of the life and art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, an artist of the Belle Époque period of late 19th Century France.

Michael Schlicting painting

Artist, printmaker and teacher Barbara Mason discusses the life and artwork of Pennsylvania-born impressionist Mary Cassatt, who lived most of her life near Paris, France. Cassatt was a skilled oil painter and pastel artist who was mentored by her friend Edgar Degas.

Michael Schlicting painting

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian abstract painter who lived from 1866-1944. In this lesson we will create work similar to Kandinsky’s by using an assortment of colored paper and glue. If colored paper is not accessible to you, no worries, there is an alternative method you can use. Follow along for a fun art lesson!

“The Arts give life depth, value, passion and meaning.”

Images and music are threads woven throughout my life. Whether as a young student, a broadcaster, a business communicator or simply a fan, I have never been far from creative expression. It surrounds me in my home, it permeates my senses and it fills many of my idle thoughts. I have molded clay, fired pots, drawn charcoal portraits, painted with watercolor and acrylic paints and noodled with colored pencils or crayons. I did none of these things well, but I enjoyed them all. I am a closet musician, singer, and occasional songwriter for projects. I use the arts regularly in my storytelling efforts, because visual and aural components help convey theme, a sense of place and a depth of experience. How I construct projects is fueled by my appreciation for how images and sound convey story and meaning. My appreciation for the arts has given my life depth, passion, value and meaning.

David Leonnig

Digital storyteller

Data on the Importance of Art

A recent study by the National Endowment for Arts and Humanities found students who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.The benefits of art education for children include problem-solving abilities, creativity, literacy, fine and gross motor skills, connection, and understanding.

Unfortunately, many elementary teachers have little or no art training. To meet this challenge, Golden Road Arts, a non-profit, will provide, free-of-charge, videos that a teacher can watch and/or have students watch which will provide fun, inexpensive, and creative art lessons that will meet the Oregon Department of Education Guidelines.

“It is my belief art saves lives.”

I still reflect on the power art had for me in school. My self-esteem and grade-point-average were low and I tended to be drawn to the kids who were trouble-makers. When I was on the brink of dropping out of high school in 1974, an art teacher took a piece of my art and hung it in a local shopping mall for others to see. I remember people admiring the piece of art and I realized for the first time in my life that I mattered. The experience turned my life around. When I graduated in 1975 from Cascade High School in Everett, Washington, I was one of the only people from my group of friends that graduated. I went on to college and received a degree in art education. Since that time, I have taught art to a variety of people – including those that are incarcerated. It is my belief that art saves lives.

Bonnie Kahn

Artist, teacher, curator and gallery owner


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