The visual arts took center stage this Spring in a unique PDE3 course designed by The Mill’s Youth Education and Fiber Studio Coordinator, Gerald Lucena in collaboration with Daniel Kelin and Tamara Smith from the Honolulu Theatre for Youth.

Hawaiʻi Island educators from Hilo, Honoka’a, Ka’u, and Kona came together as Lucena demonstrated basic oil pastel techniques showing educators how they can guide students to create original landscape artworks reflective of nature and Hawaiʻi Island. By emphasizing space, depth, and perspective teachers created their own visual art lesson plans, rubrics, and assessments for their students.

Lucena also participated in classroom visits where teachers observed him teaching their classes then observed the classroom teacher teaching their art lessons for feedback.

This PDE3 course, entitled, “Visual Perspective in Art: Learning to Observe and Create Artwork of Nature with Oil Pastels” is a professional development course offering teacher advancement opportunities for Hawaii Department of Education classroom teachers. The course enriched educators to build their knowledge of visual arts elements/principles and skills with designing and conducting research-based, classroom tested learning experiences appropriate for and relevant to young learners. The arts-focused learning pedagogy, which embed HA: Nā Hopena A’o related concepts, directly addressing Hawaii core standards in Fine Arts as well as elements of the state’s strategic plan and General Learner Outcomes, extends educators’ teaching toolkit for engaging students through alternative learning approaches.

“This course helped my students create meaningful/relevant landscapes in oil pastels. The strategies of place-based learning opened my students to discover history, culture, and native species of Ka’u while engaging in the foundational skill of drawing in one point perspective. This lesson is one I will continue to do for years to come” A. Natrasevschi from Ka’u High