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Painting Bug Stories at Geneva Day

As kindergarten students at Geneva Day School dripped paint down a huge canvas like Morris Louis did for his "stain paintings," a fly flew onto their canvas and got stuck.

"We stopped and watched him crawl to the top and fly away. You can see the small fly tracks on the painting," said Barbara Korb, a Potomac resident who is the art specialist at Geneva Day School.

Earlier in the year, the same five and six year olds learned that a cockroach had crawled onto Jackson Pollock's painting, "Lavender Mist," said Korb. Pollock decided to let the bug, who got stuck in his thick paint, stay on his canvas, which is on display at the National Gallery of Art.

So did the children.

"The children were delighted when they had a bug story to tell about their own painting," said Korb.

KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS at Geneva Day School spent the year studying art history, including the painting style of Morris Louis and Jackson Pollock. For the 21st Annual Geneva Day School Art Exhibition, held on Sunday, April 21, students painted their own Pollock-inspired and Morris-inspired masterpieces, which were auctioned off for the show. Last year's class studied Michelangelo, and painted lying down with their canvases attached to the underside of a table.

Korb teaches the students about the various periods of art history and the children then imitate the subject matter, mood, style or technique of a specific art period or artists. The youth were given factual information by means of art reproductions, hands-on experience, stories and discussion.

The youth artists will visit the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art this month to see many of the artworks they studied, said Korb.