Children’s art brightens up Rylands library

Some of the art by Newfields Primary School pupils displayed at the Rylands library on Saturday.

Newfields Primary School Grade 5 pupils exhibited their art at the Rylands library on Saturday.

An art project started at the school last year when the pupils, who were then in Grade 4, were taught by teachers from the Children’s Art Centre in Zonnebloem.

The centre runs art classes and art excursions for various schools across Cape Town.

The 64 pupils had an art class once a week, worked on one art project each term and also attended classes at the centre where they made hats.

“The classes started off with simple animal body drawings to see the level of the kids’ talent. Pupils are struggling to read with comprehension so them coming into a space where they can just be themselves makes them so happy. They loved this, their class and going to the centre. They have learnt different art elements and design principles,” said Lucinda van Wyk, a Grade 5 teacher at the school.

Lee-Anne Groenewald, the head of department at the art centre, said the classes developed artistic skill and appreciation and helped the children unwind

“I want to encourage parents to also come for art classes. Please educate yourselves on what opportunities art can bring your learner. Visual art is seen as a university subject. Some parents don’t understand what doors art can open. I want parents to dive in deep, come to the class when we have it, come see what we do,” she said

Librarian Waseefa Achmat said: “This was something different for us, to show that libraries can also be part of art and exhibitions. I encourage parents to let their children explore their talent in art. Encourage those skills and be positive about it.”

Sharon Neutt, an Easter Peak Primary School teacher who was visiting the library, said art was a way for children to express emotion.

“Children need a space for art and creativity where they can just be themselves. I use their drawings for an English lesson and life orientation besides the art subject itself. Art is not in isolation; it is deeply integrated into other subjects. It is for teachers to be creative and see that. You get a happy child because you are connecting with their passion. I don’t have discipline issues,” she said.

Children’s artwork showing facial characteristics.
The 64 Newfields Primary School pupils had an art class once a week, worked on one art project each term and also attended classes at the Children’s Art Centre in Zonnebloem.
The hat project by the Grade 5s.
At the art exhibition, from left, are Children’s Art Centre head of department Lee-Anne Groenewald, Newfields Primary School Grade 5 teacher Lucinda van Wyk and Rylands librarian Waseefa Achmat.
Easter Peak Primary School Grade 7 teacher Sharon Neutt says art is a way for children to express emotion.