Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Corpus Christi Students Play Chicken With Art Display At Conner Museum

KINGSVILLE - March 27, 2008

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

Seventh, eighth graders from Driscoll Middle School show chicken wire work

Chicken Wire Sculpture

Twenty-three students from Driscoll Middle School in the Corpus Christi Independent School District have their art projects on display for the next two weeks at the John E. Conner Museum on the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The exhibit entitled The Chicken Wire Menagerie will remain on display in the west gallery through Saturday, April 12.

The Chicken Wire Menagerie is just that, a group of 20 animal sculptures made out of chicken wire. Some have material inside the wire, one has material on the outside, and all were painted in some way, said Ana Canales, art teacher at Driscoll Middle School and coordinator of the project.

The sculptures, however, were more than just an art project, Canales said, incorporating subjects across the middle school curriculum. “The students had to research their animal and provide a science board on their choice. Then, they selected one of the photos they found and recreated that in chicken wire. Math was incorporated into that phase as they had to learn how to create the shapes that would eventually become their animal.”

Canales said 23 students, 18 seventh graders and five eighth graders, have their work on display. Art class is an elective at Driscoll Middle School, so all of the students in the class are there because they enjoy art.

“The number one way this helps our students is to build self-esteem,” said Driscoll Middle School Principal Stella Olson-Torres. “They can not be good in English or not be good in math, but in art, they have found something they are good at.”

Canales said that last time she had students do this particular project was when she was an instructor at A&M-Kingsville teaching sculpture in the art department.

“She did not tell the students that in the beginning,” said Olson-Torres about Canales, who also is a former curator of the Conner Museum. “She waited until they were nearly finished with the project before telling them they were doing a project she taught in college. That gives them hope and the knowledge that maybe they are good enough to go to college themselves.”

The Conner Museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 361-593-2810.

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