Schenectady County

Artist offers lessons in creativity

Art is not just drawing a picture or making a sculpture. It’s also about communication and creativit

Art is not just drawing a picture or making a sculpture. It’s also about communication and creativity.

“Art is about changing the way you feel or the way other people feel,” said artist Colin Coots to a first-grade class at Yates Arts-in-Education Elementary School on Tuesday.

Coots, 63, specializes in horse-related paintings in Saratoga and travels around the country as an artist for local schools. He showed the students how he could make a variety of sounds by playing on his saw. He made bird call sounds with a glass and string, blew an old-fashioned horn and put imaginary miniature people in a small paper bag.

Then, Coots feverishly scribbled pictures of a rooster and bird. “Variety is what makes life interesting,” he said.

Coots then encouraged the children to stretch their creative muscles by shaping clay. The entire school is going to construct a large mosaic about healthful eating and put it on a wall in the cafeteria. Students in different grades were making one clay tile each and were assigned different food groups, such as meats, fruits and vegetables.

“Otherwise, we would have 318 pieces of pizza,” said art teacher Ava Scott.

This first-grade class was working on nuts and legumes. The children took walnuts, green beans, lima beans and other items and put them into the clay to make different shapes.

Six-year-old Omar Delgado was hard at work.

“When you’re trying to make shapes, you get to use a lot of stuff,” he said.

Mariyah Bellamy, 6, was working to create the shapes she wants. “It’s really fun,” she said.

Six-year-old Reginald Williams said the hardest part was getting the nuts out of the clay.

Scott said students could leave them in if they wanted to because they would just burn up in her kiln.

She said she was glad Coots was able to participate in this program.

“I think it’s really good for the children to see someone who is a professional artist,” she said.

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