Student artists reap rewards for Koloa School

POIPU — Student artwork from the Koloa Elementary School is reaping great rewards.

Wednesday, coinciding with the weekly Kauai Culinary Market at The Shops at Kukuiula, Koloa School was presented a check for $2,100 representing proceeds from the school’s annual Holiday Gift Bag fundraiser.

Punctuated with special May Day music from the Koloa School ukulele band under the direction of Aileen and Niles Kageyama and performances from the school’s kindergarten class, the school graciously accepted the contribution which stemmed from their unique one-of-a-kind decorated gift bags decorated by the school’s students.

Select merchants at The Shops at Kukuiula distributed the exclusive bags for a minimum donation of a dollar each bag, and matched by The Shops at Kukuiula.

The funds will be used for operational costs benefiting the school, states a release. This year, the school hopes to be able to purchase some new computers.

“As a shopping center filled with world-renowned art galleries, we are proud to support the education of our community,” said Helaine Perel, the real estate manager at The Shops at Kukuiula. “It has been an honor to partner with Koloa Elementary School for the fourth year in a row on this fundraising endeavor.”

But the excitement was not limited to the music and check presentation.

“We found two spaces where the students are able to display their work under the ‘Great Artists’ program,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, the assistant real estate manager for Kukuiula. “The exhibit will be up through May 10, coinciding with the popular Kukuiula Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m.”

Available for viewing during the shopping center’s operating hours, the Great Artists program is created and operated by the school’s PTSA and parent volunteers.

Kim Carpenter, an art major with a minor in art history, is one of the parents who took the lead in introducing students of all grades, including the preschool, to works and lives of six great artists.

“We buy the lesson plans for six artists,” Carpenter said. “Each month, the students are exposed to a new artist and have an opportunity to put on paper what they learned about the artist and their style. We even modify the lesson plans to accommodate the preschool students.”

Some of the inspiring artists which motivated student brushes include Davinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Monet’s “Starry Night,” and “Goldfish” by Matisse.

“I must say the program was a success, and next year, we look forward to meeting six more artists,” Carpenter said amidst a flurry of excited students. “The teachers are excited about seeing the students love doing art.”

Christine Murphy, a mother and volunteer with the program, said the students actually look forward to the monthly program, giving hugs and greetings when they see the instructors.

Paislee Chadderton, a Koloa School 5th grader, said she liked “Pommes” because of the color and shading and the great detail in the work.

“I liked how everything was created using pastels,” she said. “I think pastels are my favorite.”

Ty Clark, another student, said he had problems re-creating “Goldfish.”

“The reflections were really hard to do, especially with crayons,” Clark said. “You couldn’t make the outlines of the fish.”

Sabrina Murphy was surprised with her goldfish.

“I was working on the fruits and flowers,” she said. “Oh, that was the tablecloth. And I had some trouble with the cylindrical shape.”

Despite the little issues, the students’ work were all completed on time.

“The continuous support we receive from The Shops at Kukuiula is overwhelming,” said Leila Kobayashi, the school’s student service coordinator. “Without our partnership with the shopping center, we wouldn’t be able to fund some of the educational projects we’ve done at Koloa Elementary for the past four years.”

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