School News

Lower School Art Week Ends with Multi-faceted Exhibition

Artist-in-Residence Donna Warwick spent the week of November 17-21 with Maharishi School Pre- and Lower School students. The students painted, built, sang, danced, and engaged in computer art to create a wonderland of Artsfusion that the school celebrated on Tuesday, November 25.

Donna Warwick has taught children’s arts programs in Central Illinois since 1994. Combining over twenty years of dance experience and her certification in elementary education, Donna created the Artsfusion Method for elementary students. Over the years, she has observed that children will enthusiastically participate in creative arts experiences if they are first inspired by an enticing story. That’s just what she did at Maharishi School, working with students to combine art, music, storytelling, creative movement, and digitized visuals of “stained glass” art.

In each classroom, teachers read to the children ​the story "​World Behind the Waterfall," the focal point of Ms. Warwick’s week-long residency. Donna feels that a good story offers children a variety of archetypal roles that spontaneously motivate them to create art, dance, songs, and story-themed variations in their own creative writing.

Tuesday’s live performances began with the first and second grade girls dancing as the Fairy Dancers. Then the grade 1 and 2 boys and girls danced “She Rose Before the Dawn,” followed by preschool through grade 2 singing and dancing to “River Song.”

“Palomito’s Song,” a vocal and band arrangement by music teacher Miranda Mallard, was accompanied by a dance by Marisol and Seth Braun, who received creative assistance from Alexandra Warwick.

The “Wishing Well Rap” was performed by the girls and boys of grades 3/4, followed by the “Aurora Borealis” dance of the 5th and 6th grade girls, a dance to the music of “Christofori’s Dream” by David Lanz with choreography by Ava Botto and Hana Martlin. The Tiger Knights performing “Hunt Like Tigers” ended the grade-level performances.

The finale of the live performances was “Let’s Go to the World Behind the Waterfall.” Leading the singing were Jeremy Goodale, Mekhi Kahiu, Autumn Watson, and Ava Botto. The songs were written by Donna Warwick and arranged by Miranda Mallard. Musical direction and select choreography was led by Miranda Mallard.

After the live performances, the Lower School lobby and libraries were the sites of class arts exhibitions. In the front lobby were the Castle Installation, created by the first and second grade boys; the Fairies & Elves, created by the first and second grade girls; the Waterfall Installation, created by the preschool 3-6 year-old class; and the Kaleidobrellas Installation, created by the fifth and sixth grade girls and boys.

In the hallway leading to the art room were the Stained Glass Tree House and the Interactive Soundscape Installation. The main library housed the Waterfall Video and the Kaleido Video.

The art installations were under the direction of Emily Timm. Digital images, videos, and slideshows were under the direction of Tony Hallen, Elyse Soares, and Donna Warwick.

Donna Warwick’s week of Artsfusion instruction and the culminating performances and exhibitions exemplify that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

She expressed her experience during the week of arts with the following words: “I hope your child has enjoyed his or her journey into the World Behind the Waterfall. This week we have immersed ourselves in the arts; teachers and students created together, stirred the bliss, and gave expression to the profound value of Maharishi’s Principles and Fundamentals of SCI. I feel honored to have been a part of this process and am deeply inspired by the creative talents of Maharishi School students.”

Tags: Artists-in-the-schools , Donna Warwick

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