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Getting Involved

Middle School Arts Festival Premieres

What can you make out of an IKEA chair kit? A tree, a colorful hot air balloon, and faux barbecue, if you’re a Canyons middle school artist.

With the single rule to use the parts in an IKEA chair kit, teams of art students from six Canyons middle schools transformed pieces of furniture into one-of-a-kind imaginative designs as part of the District’s premiere Middle School Arts Festival. The festival brought nearly 60 of the brightest art students to Butler Middle School for the competition on Thursday, March 29 at Eastmont Middle School. Students brainstormed ideas beforehand and were given a little over three hours to build their collaborative masterpieces on the day of the competition.

“We’re trying to promote more arts activities for the kids. And this is one of those really creative activities,” Canyons District Arts Chair Sharee Jorgensen said.

Crescent View students turned their chair into a cherry red barbecue, complete with detailed skewers of vegetables and pieces of meat they constructed and painted. The barbecue was the boy’s first pick during their brainstorm session and, two hours and dozens of ideas later, the girls agreed it was the best one.

“This competition gives us a chance to be creative and think outside the box – even for a few hours. It’s healthy for kids,” Crescent View student Rebecca Clinger said.

Using dramatic hues of blues and unconventional materials like plastic wrap, aluminum foil and clay beads, Eastmont Middle School students re-purposed their chair into an abstract version of opposites fire and ice.

“Trying to compromise has been fun. If we get mad at each other, we have to work together and work it out,” Eastmont student Dani Nerdin said. “Like trial and error, we’ve painted this seat 15 times until we got it right.”

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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