"Ms. Kenna's love for art has been passed on to our scholars and it's reflected in the artwork that we have in our hallways,” said Mike Collins, principal at Landmark. “The work our scholars produce is a direct reflection on the great job that Ms. Kenna does as our art teacher. The artwork around the school brightens everyone's day!"
She believes art is important because it provides students with a creative outlet, helps increase confidence, and builds critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As a student, Ms. Kenna was inspired by the community and classroom culture her teacher created. She spent a lot of time in the art room as a student, thinking of it as a safe place where she could be herself and explore art. By her senior year in high school, she was taking five art classes a day. After school, she would pick up fast food and go back to the art room to work on her art while her teacher also worked on artwork.
“It was really inspiring to see our teacher was not only a teacher but an artist as well,” she said.
While she enjoys creating collaborative murals to brighten the hallways at Landmark, her favorite part of teaching art is her students. “The moments we spend creating, learning, and laughing together fills my heart,” she said. “I also love that I am able to share my love of art with them and help them grow as artists and creative thinkers.”
To highlight her students’ creativity, Ms. Kenna recently put on an art show at the school. Installations and collaborative murals plastered the school’s walls with over 1,000 pieces of student artwork. A few weeks of time, the help of her black lab, Banjo, and music fueled her to hang each piece with care.
Included in the show were the following exhibits:
- God's Eyes: Ms. Kenna gathered the sticks while on a trip to Del Norte, Colorado in September. The work was created by her first quarter middle school students.
- Mandalas: Created by all fifth graders. Students learned about radial symmetry, including different types of art that have radial symmetry.
- Bloom mural: Each fourth-quarter student made a flower out of paper plates. They all used a different art process, like duct tape, tissue paper with Mod Podge, paint, oil pastel, stickers, etc.
- Origami: Created by fourth-quarter fifth graders. They each chose what kind of origami they wanted to make.
- Interactive Balloon Mural: Every student in the school made a balloon for this mural on April 28, which is when the school held “Art Wednesday”. Before making the balloons, Ms. Kenna taught students about the artist Kelsey Montague. Each individual balloon is now part of one giant balloon that students can take a picture with.
While much of the art gets sent home, a few murals remain for the next school year, brightening the hallways and sparking creativity.
The Landmark Art Show is important to Ms. Kenna because it allows students to take pride in their artwork, admire the work of their peers, and celebrate all the hard work they put in throughout the year. The art show is also a tangible way for younger students to see what they have to look forward to.
Check out more of Landmark’s student artwork on Instagram by following @landmark_creates.
Keep up the great work, Ms. Kenna!