This past Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting the Abraham Lincoln School end of the year art exhibit here in The Gallery in Altos de Chavón. As an ALS graduate, I’m very proud to see how to talented the students are. I was constantly impressed by every piece exhibited, even by the youngest of artists. Parents, teachers, students, and friends packed into The Gallery to be part of one of the most awaited events of the year.
With artwork from nearly every student Pre-Kinder through 12th grade, paintings, drawings, collages, and more covered the walls of the gallery from top to bottom in an extraordinary display of color and talent. The exhibition was beautifully installed and had an excellent distribution between lower and upper grades and even included helpful notes on how each grade came up with their projects. Colorful dream catchers hung from the first-floor ceiling and incredibly creative “paper cakes” inspired by Claes Oldenburg’s “Floor Cake” were displayed on the corridors.
In Pre-kinder students start developing their fine motor skills, Mrs. Lahoz class used their fingers and small materials such a Q-tips to experiment with movement and paint. Later on during the school year, under a project entitled “small hands, big art” Mrs. Lluberes class made fantastic abstract paintings, where they began drawing a large U shape in the center and then used other simple lines to create the facial features. We also saw 3D Hot air balloons rising to the second floor designed by eighth-grade students where they not only developed design and construction skills but also another way of looking at the world around them, ask questions and develop ideas.
Abraham Lincoln School is close to the coast, Grade 10 used this to their advantage and went exploring. They first had to create preliminary sketches of the coast, which they then developed into large-scale seascapes using their own photographs – they even did some beautiful coral samples with clay. For their first art project, grade 7 were given the task to portray flowers in an abstract manner, centered around the graphic artist, Rex Ray whilst for their second art project the students focused on two themes: abstract landscape and zentangles helping them develop a sense of depth and perspective as well as their illustration and fine motor skills.
One of the second-floor walls had splendid animal faces made by fifth graders using various patterns on strips of paper with bold pastel animal features and on another wall, we also saw a spectacular display of animal sculptures by eleventh grade. They were given the task of constructing an animal of their choice but it needed to have a message or theme, whether it was social, environmental or simply witty. Two students highlighted the impact plastic has on marine life, whilst others conveyed their feelings towards anti-poaching.
Everywhere you turn you are able to see amazing and even challenging art projects. Ninth grade had to do detailed observational drawings and 3D work centered around the subject of “mechanical art”. As explained in the exhibition, this project touched upon the work of American artist, Jim Dine. The theme behind mechanical art highlights the beauty in everyday objects – something the students were able to achieve. The illustrations transformed everyday objects into something expressive and significant. Grade 12 students were given the task of creating whatever they wanted as it was their last art project within the school. All the outcomes were skillful and varied, and worthy of your attention!
All this is just a small sample of the outstanding work of art that is displayed at the Altos de Chavón Gallery. It’s clear ALS continues to put a strong emphasis on art in its curriculum as the level of technique and progression could be seen throughout the years.
Make sure to check out the exhibit yourself, open now through this Monday, June 11th!
The following collection of photos were taken by Dariana Soriano Friday, June 1st at The Gallery, Altos de Chavón.
The Abraham Lincoln School, located within Central Romana, in the town of La Romana, is a private school for the children of employees of the Central Romana Corporation, but is also attended by other children who pay yearly tuition fees.
The Abraham Lincoln School is an “English school” which means that classes are taught to a British standard curriculum and all the teachers are British, with the exception of course of the teachers who teach Spanish, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and PE who are Dominican. This means that the majority of classes are taught in English and children command both English and Spanish.
Although the curriculum is British, grades are awarded according to the American GPA system and the pupils also take the “Dominican National Exams”, allowing pupils to continue their education at universities in the USA or within the Dominican Republic, as well as in Europe.
Classes go from pre-kinder to 12th grade.