A local artist had Grade 6 students at Carpathia School feeling like professional mosaic artists.
Dimitry Melman, River Heights-based visual artist, spent a week working with students to create intricate tile art pieces that students could take home with them at the end of the week.
The process began with a lesson in mosaics. Melman had the students spend time thinking about a theme, which they then sketched and transferred onto plywood.
Then, they learned how to use a tile cutter and the fun began.
Melman stressed the importance of teaching the students to create their work step by step.
"Whether they sketch, or cut or put pieces onto plywood, they have to make decisions. They have to decide what colours to use. It’s a process," Melman said.
While many of the skills, such as cutting and gluing, are skills the students already know and have done on other levels, Melman said the opportunity to create mosaics is something completely different for the students.
"They can say it’s professional art, and it’s something that will last for a long time," he said.
Alexis Taylor, one of the students participating in the week-long session, said she’s really enjoyed working with Melman.
"It’s fun learning how to do different types of art, using different tiles, and learning how to cut them and paste them," Taylor said.
"It’s not something we get to do normally."
Taylor said having Melman in the classroom is special, and not something the class would normally get to do.
"We get to make up our own pieces around a theme, choose the colours of tiles and put them on plywood," she said.
Shawna Hasanally, the students’ teacher, said it’s a treat for the class to have a professional artist working with them.
"The students enjoy getting hands on with materials that I can’t always bring into the classroom," Hasanally said.
For the students, having an accomplished artist teach them expands their horizon past the knowledge of the teachers in the school, said Melman.
"It’s enriching for them," she said.