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With splatter painting, W. Jordan students learn anyone can do art

Published March 7, 2013 6:49 pm

Principal uses splatter painting to encourage schoolchildren to make art a part of their lives.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

West Jordan • Like young Jackson Pollocks, fourth graders at Fox Hollow Elementary School spent part of their Wednesday morning dripping paint onto blank canvasses.

At the end, the 29 students each had their own painting and an important lesson: Anyone can do art.

Derek Stewart, who likes drawing better than painting, enjoyed creating his abstract in black, green and blue.

"It was pretty fun doing it this way," he said.

That was the goal of principal and artist Kevin Pullan, who worries that schools could be losing the arts in the current climate.

"I'm a big proponent of educating the whole child, and the arts are part of that," he said.

Pullan holds an annual splatter art session for fourth graders, an idea that stemmed from his own background. The 49-year-old, who comes from a family of artists, says he can't draw but discovered he enjoyed doing abstract painting.

He now has a side business and sells about 10 paintings a year, but his motivation to paint stems from his love of art. And as an educator, Pullan also wants to keep the arts alive for his students.

On Wednesday, he showed the 9- and 10-year-olds an art piece he had created using pieces of glass from a school window that had been broken by vandals. Pullan told the students that they can take something bad that happens and turn it into something positive.

The students then picked three colors and went to work. Occasional giggles punctuated the room as students focused on their work. Some piled on the color, while others took a more minimalist approach. At the end, they added glitter.

"I overloaded mine," said 10-year-old Hunter Conley, who dripped swirls and lines of black, purple and orange — as well as a little turquoise he got from another student — onto his canvas, then topped it with glitter.

Neeltje Schmidt, 10, said she wants to take art lessons from her grandmother, who paints portraits and landscapes.

"I'm going to be an artist like her one day," she said.

Keyera Walter had so much fun that she wants to do splatter art at her upcoming 10th birthday party. Sonya Banza, 9, who likes bright colors, took joy in the finished product.

"My favorite part of art is figuring out what you want to do," she said, "and then you splatter it [the paint] around and it turns into a masterpiece."

pmanson@sltrib.com

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC