Art project a highlight of City Park School's Dot Day celebration

·3 min read

Sep. 23—This is the best "project ever," third-grader Noah Chastain exclaimed as he tie-dyed and dot-painted in his City Park School art class last week. "That's magic right there."

City Park School students explored the art form of pointillism as part of their Dot Day celebration Sept. 15. Art teacher Josef Damasch plans to display the colorful dots created by his students through a quasi-tie-dye method and via paint-dot application in the school.

"I want kids to see how their art can change an environment, can change their surroundings," Damasch said. "This is going to be very exciting (for) them."

When "you put all the colors together, it looks really cool," Chastain said. "It's kind of magical."

Tambren Arroyo married blue and orange for one of his tie-dye dots because "it looks like a good combination," said the third-grader. He enjoyed that portion of the activity more than the dip-painting because "we've painted with dots before, but tie-dye is something we've never done."

Maddy Nava fancied both portions of the dot activity, because she loves art, but she gave a slight nod to tie-dye.

"I paint in my house, but I've never done tie-dye in my life," she said.

Chastain preferred the dot painting, because "it's relaxing."

For his tie-dye project, he used several colors, then an eraser for a "white-design" effect in the center of the dot, he said. "I made a white tree for winter in the middle."

Nava placed a unicorn design in the middle of one of her dots, because "I really like unicorns," and she used plenty of blue, her "favorite color," she said. Unicorns are "so pretty and beautiful."

International Dot Day is based on the book "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds, which focuses on the power of one teacher, encouragement, creativity and paying forward encouragement to others, said Hannah Talley, City Park's media specialist. Principal Kim Rhyne read the book aloud for students, she provided "a special (Dots gum drops) treat to all of our teachers thanking them for helping our students 'make their mark,'" and students and staff were encouraged to wear dots.

Nava made her own dot shirt for the day and wore it.

"I saw this shirt in a store, and it was pretty," but her admiration for "The Dot" led her to bedazzle the shirt for her Dot Day outfit, she said. "I put all of them on myself, (and) it just took me a day."

"I love (the story) because the girl keeps trying," she added. "You have to keep trying."

The book "encourages kids to try things they might be afraid of," Damasch said. The story also illustrates that "one person can make a difference."

Because the protagonist's teacher in the book "made her feel good, she kept doing her art," Chastain said. His main takeaway from the book is "nobody will make fun of you if you try."

"She was afraid of drawing, but she kept going," said Arroyo. "Don't give up."

Due to COVID-19 precautions, Dalton Public Schools isn't having assemblies as it usually would, so "we're looking for ways to unite our school," and a Dot Day celebration proved well-chosen, Talley said. "The book has a good, positive message we need right now."

"What a fun day to celebrate ways to see the good, which is hard right now," Rhyne said. "I love this story, because it reminds kids (of the need) to celebrate and teaches them they can do anything (as long as they) don't get down on themselves."

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