LART fest ties creativity to literature

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Story by Carsyn Owens

LART Fest stands for Literary Art Festival, so there’ll just be a bunch of book quotes, right? Wrong. LART has many different projects from the art and language arts department.

For the past six years, the art and language arts department, along with the library, have worked together to make an opportunity for students to express themselves through art and literature.

Librarian Amy Taylor, along with the rest of the LMC staff, the art department and the language arts department came up with the LART Festival together. “It was a young adult literature conference, and while we were there… the librarians from Denver Public Library gave a presentation of all the things that they do in their library,” Taylor said.

The LART Fest has been a different theme every year and art teacher Brandon Briscoe hasn’t repeated any assignments yet. “Every year’s different. I always assign a kid something different,” he said.

Much like Briscoe, language arts teacher April Wilner has given her students a different projects ever since the Festival started. “This is different every year because it’s something that I want the students, even in the audience, to not see the same thing year after year,” she said.

The projects that students do still fit into the class’ curriculum, but Taylor said “the inspiration for that piece comes from literature.”

“I think they were excited for the opportunity to be imaginative about their favorite books,” Briscoe said.

Briscoe gave his students an assignment where they got to pick a scene or setting from one of their favorite books. He told them to “depict it from their imagination.”

The project Wilner gave her students were black-out poems. “They took pages from their book that they liked and used words from the pages to create a poem,” she said.

The theme for this year’s LART Fest is Endless Possibilities, and Wilner said this was her favorite theme so far. “I liked the idea that every single student could take something different and then turn it into something that’s endless,” she said.

The Festival is a different experience for every student. “I think some of them really got into it, especially those who love reading,” Briscoe said, “There are some students who struggle with reading, so the project was harder.”

Wilner said most of her students really enjoyed doing the black-out poetry. “Even the students that thought they hated poetry, really liked the freedom of coming up with their own ideas on the page,” she said.

“It was funny how it had very little to do with art, and more with whether or not the students had…read much,” Briscoe.

Knowing her students had fun with the assignment makes Wilner feel great. “It makes me feel good when I see kids seeing their poetry being displayed. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they see that they got chosen to be apart of the LART Fest,” she said.

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