Fifth-graders at Sacred Heart School in Florissant were eager to start a new art project — paper weaving — as art teacher Sarah Bogaski outlined their instructions.
The woven strips of paper should sit close to one another, she instructed. Be sure to glue the ends so they don’t move. “You want to make it look like a checkerboard,” Bogaski told them. “If they’re spaced out, they’re not really going to look like a checkerboard.”
Bogaski said she enjoys helping students to see that art can be a form of prayer. During a recent project in which students made a koala drawing, Bogaski talked to them about the recent wildfires in Australia and how animal habitats have been destroyed as a result.
“I told them with this drawing, let’s treat it like a prayer, and let’s pray for those being affected by the wildfires,” she said. “It was surprising to see how many kids knew what was going on in Australia. They really took it to heart.”
Selected artwork from Sacred Heart students will be represented at an exhibit later this month at Good Shepherd Arts Center in Ferguson. “The Work of Our Hands” is an exhibit featuring pieces from schools in the Federation of Catholic Schools in North County. An opening reception will be held Friday, Jan. 31, during Catholic Schools Week. Bogaski is coordinating the exhibit.
Fifth-grader Tessa Franklin said art is a way for her to connect with God, especially when she needs a little pick-me-up. “When I go home and I’ve had a bad day, I like to draw,” she said. “I can connect with God that way.”
Student Abby McCarthy, who enjoys painting, said she’s inspired by the saints who have created artwork from their visions of God, such as St. Faustina, who created the image of Jesus as the Divine Mercy after seeing a vision of Him. “They express their visions through painting,” she said.
Reese Jones said being able to create artwork is an example of the gifts that God gives to each person. “He gave us that creativity, and (making art) helps us remember where we got that from.”
Bogaski said that she especially enjoys when students have the opportunity to display their artwork for others to see — whether that’s in the hallways of school or at an art gallery like Good Shepherd.
“I really love showing their artwork outside of school, because it shows their different abilities and styles,” she said. “And you don’t have to be the perfect artists to have something on display. It’s about giving your effort and showing people what you’re interested in. I’ve seen a lot of kids, especially older ones, come to express themselves through art. It really reflects their lives.”
Bogaski said she’s looking forward to seeing the students’ art out in the community. “The kids are so proud to see it out and about,” she said. “They get so excited.”
>> Art exhibit
“The Work of Our Hands,” a display
of artwork by students of the Federation of Catholic Schools in North
County, will be on display at Good Shepherd Arts Center.
WHEN: Opening reception from 4-6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31; the exhibit runs through Feb. 22
WHERE: Good Shepherd Arts Center, 252 S. Florissant Road in Ferguson
Gallery hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and
Fridays; and 12-5 p.m. Saturdays; other hours are by appointment. See www.goodshepherdarts.org.
Federation of Catholic Schools in North County
The Federation of Catholic Schools in North County includes nine schools. They are:
• St. Ann, Normandy
• Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ferguson
• Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Ferguson
• St. Ferdinand, Florissant (All Saints Academy)
• St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Florissant (All Saints Academy)
• St. Norbert, Florissant (All Saints Academy)
• Sacred Heart, Florissant
• Christ Light of the Nations, Spanish Lake
• Holy Spirit, Maryland Heights
• Trinity Catholic High School
(Schools in bold are participating in the art exhibit.)