And That’s Who I Am! collage residency at Methow Valley Elementary

Winter 2018

by Ashley Lodato, Education Director

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In March, Methow Valley Elementary 5th grade students explored the “Who We Are” unit of the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework through a collage residency with Methow Arts teaching artist Annie Venable.

The concept was originally developed by 5th grade teachers Jennifer Duguay and Catie Barber working with teaching artist Hana Baker, then was refined in future years in a collaboration with Venable, who (in addition to teaching residencies in Brewster, Omak, and the Methow Valley) is attending the Washington State Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Training Lab.

First, students painted poster boards (recycled trail maps from Methow Trails!) with primer, then discussed the art element of “color” and chose colors that they felt represented them. Next they painted the poster board with those colors, and learned about the art elements of “line” and “shape,” and how those elements relate to emotions, feelings, and other personal characteristics.

The elements of art are: line, shape/form, color, texture, pattern, value, and space. The elements are the “building blocks” or “ingredients” of art.

The principles of design are: balance, repetition/rhythm, unity, variety, and emphasis. The principles of design are the means an artist uses to organize elements within a work of art.

The final part of the residency was assembling original and found collage materials and placing them strategically on the boards, resulting in each student having a display that says emphatically “And That’s Who I Am!”

This residency helps students explore the principles and elements of art and design through painting and collage, as well as learning about color, shape, line, expression, value, and scale. The art components integrate with the IB unit, which is an exploration of the nature of the self; of our beliefs and values; of personal, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health; and of families.

This art residency was brought to students by Methow Arts Alliance’ Okanogan Region Arts Education Partnership.  The partnership serves 3,500 students and 350 teachers across greater Okanogan County with arts programs in classrooms in the Brewster, Bridgeport, Methow, Okanogan, Omak and Pateros School Districts, and in the Paschal Sherman Indian School on the Colville Reservation.

This still life residency was sponsored by the Methow Valley School District, the Public School Funding Alliance, ArtsWA, Icicle Fund, the Robert B. McMillen Foundation, and the Methow Valley Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington.


INFO: Methow Arts Alliance, 509.997.4004,