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Since September, every Wednesday 45 Queen Ka’ahumanu Elementary English Language Learner students walk the block to the museum to participate in after-school art classes. Students break up into three classes—kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, and 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Students have explored a variety of media, from gelatin printmaking, ceramics, painting, and mixed-media sculpture. The classes focus on giving students new art skills, while also boosting self-esteem and encouraging creative and verbal expression.

In a few weeks instructor Jessica Fowler, who oversees the group of third- to fifth-graders, will have her students create a collaborative wheat-paste mural.  To prepare for the project, Jessica invited artist Sergio Garzon to speak to the class about his work. In addition, he invited students to help repair his large, woodblock mural on the construction wall on Young Street, across from the Honolulu Museum of Art School.

The class was eager to assist Sergio, or “Mr. S” as he’s known. They applied wheat paste to areas of his work that were deteriorating, as well as prepare new prints and seal them on the wall. Many students had never used a roller before, so they took turns experiencing just how difficult it can be to wield a big, dripping, wheat-paste mess! Their hard work paid off—you can see how they refreshed the mural, and added a whale—when you pass by. The class will also create and hang a mural on the container behind the Art School at the end of December.

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