FARMINGTON – Professional artist Angela Fife was volunteering in her daughter’s classroom, sharing techniques about drawing portraits, when she got a serendipitous request.
Kristi Frodsham, director of elementary education at the district, asked Fife if she could work with students to provide portraits of members of the Davis School Board.
They were already on their way.
It was an idea of Superintendent Bryan Bowles, as a gift to board members.
The resultant works now hang behind each board member as they deliberate over decisions relating to schools and students.
“I taught them to just really look and draw what they see and not what they think they see,” said Fife.
She taught them that eyes are in the middle of heads and that not all eyes are shaped like almonds.
She emphasized the importance of getting the hair right.
“Kids get frustrated when they can’t draw a person and make it look like a person,” she said. “As soon as they learn some of those proportions, suddenly it works.”
The work they created with light watercolor strokes and pencil was warmly received by board members.
“Where would we be without the arts?” said Tamara Lowe, board president. “Where would we be without the talent we’ve seen today?”
Fife, who has her art exhibited in four galleries around the country, said some of the kids were really surprised that they were good at art and their work was selected.
“The kids were beaming,” she said. “It was really exciting.”
It was the perfect culminating activity, said Frodsham.
Sixth-grade teacher Cindy Workman, whose class created the pieces, said she’d never seen the kids work harder or more seriously, said Frodsham.
“For some of the kids, I think it gave them a taste of success and recognition,” said Frodsham. “To understand and to appreciate art, and then to be able to create it, adds a balance to every person’s life.”