Students tour Firehouse Arts Center, paint in the park as part of gifted program

Published 3:10 pm Friday, September 27, 2019

First and second grade students in the gifted program at Decatur County schools had the opportunity to tour the Firehouse Arts Center Friday morning and paint watercolors in the park with Hutto Middle School art teacher, Tiffany Maxwell.

Brandi Deal, the gifted coordinator for Decatur County Schools, said part of the gifted program is about teaching creativity. The students have spent the past two weeks learning about the history of watercolor and watercolor painters such as, Van Gogh.

The lessons culminated on the field trip, which Deal said the kids have been overjoyed about since the permission slip was sent home.

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During the tour of the Firehouse Arts Center, students were able to view the artwork on display by the Rentz sisters and learn about the history. They quickly learned prisoners were once housed at the Firehouse and a tunnel underneath the building would allow the prisoners to be taken in for court, making sure they could not escape. The children toured the old jail cells, which are now used for storage, before moving on to learn about the bell tower.

Following the bell tower, they were shown where the firemen used to sleep and where the fire trucks were parked.

The students were impressed and many claimed they had no idea.

Upon completion of the tour, the students traveled to the Willis Park Gazebo, where Maxwell instructed them on how to paint a watercolor bird on their canvas. The students were shown all the different patterning techniques they could use on their bird’s wings and how to combine the different colors.

They all completed their paintings and got to take them home to use in their personal space.

This project completed the students’ lesson on creativity, but Deal promised the students they have more fun activities to look forward to in the future.