About the Artist: Hartley Elementary Art Club CLC/Haydon Art Center

The after school Art Club at Hartley Elementary School is led by June Dupont, retired art teacher of Pius High School. In her caring and dedicated way, Mrs. DuPont teaches the children about art -- holding a paintbrush, painting with strong bold stokes (or gentle delicate ones), and the important lesson how to properly wash out and store a paintbrush. As a volunteer at Hartley, she teaches art to three Kindergarten classes and leads the art club, an after school program.

The student artists involved in this project include:
5th graders: Lydia Adams, Tabitha Bennet, Destiny Bloxton, Eric Johnson, Mercedes Fowler, and Nancy Flores.
4th graders: Dominque Iznaga, Adriana Fowler, Carlos Gutierrez, TC Palmer, Cleo Springer, and Jayden Eno.

Special thanks also to Jill Allen, Kindergarten teacher and Art Liaison for Hartley Elementary School; Kristi Chambers, CLC site supervisor who embraced the idea from the beginning and found a home for the project through Jill Allen; Heather Thomas, Education Coordinator, Haydon Art Center, who proposed and coordinated the project.

As a non-profit art center, Haydon's mission is to:
collaborate with educational and artist partners
provide innovative educational programming and outreach
create programs that deepen the value of the arts in schools and the community
produce exhibitions that engage a wide variety of audiences in the visual arts
create opportunities for interaction between artists and the community

Artwork Interpretation: "Summertime Fiesta"

The 4th and 5th grade students found their inspiration from the beautiful butterfly garden situated near the main entrance of Hartley Elementary School. The rain barrel, entitled "Summertime Fiesta" evokes images of a hot summer day with butterflies and dragonflies whizzing about and hovering to visit the blooming flowers and plants in their garden.

Art projects such as this empower children to be creative, to express themselves, to plan and execute that plan, and to make something that is beautiful and in this instance, useful as well. Our focus was on the process, not the product. This approach promotes experimentation and creativity from all involved. As there were 13 students designing the barrel, they needed to work together, taking turns and making design decisions. The students, proud of the garden they helped to build, are equally proud of the rain barrel they created, and they are happy to provide a source of water for the butterfly garden at Hartley Elementary School.