Tuesday mornings are always exciting for some students at Clementi Primary School as they look forward to getting their creative minds working and hands dirty at their STAR Art Club. These budding artists are groomed to develop their talent in the visual arts and exposed to different art forms and techniques.
The club teaches Primary Three to Primary Six students various art skills such as hand-building skills to create pinch pots and ceramics as well as animation through working with plasticine and air dry clay. These activities are being taught by art teachers together with the help of external vendors who are experts in their field. The students’ creations are being displayed at the school’s art gallery known as The Artique, holds a repertoire of the students' artwork ranging from paintings, sculptures and ceramics, created as part of the school's art curriculum and enrichment programs. Past years' Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) entries are also exhibited in the gallery.
“We learn different topics and techniques every week. It makes me eager and excited to try them out,” said Sistla Satya Satvik, a Primary Six student who enjoys hands-on activities like ceramics, clay and painting.
The club’s activities supplement the school’s holistic education that goes beyond technical skills by encouraging the students to persevere, experiment and most importantly, be adventurous and have the confidence to innovate. The modular art lessons allow students in Primary 1 and 2 classes to have wider exposure in art making and having Art Club as a CCA during curriculum time is a big draw for the Primary 3 to 6 students.
“Some students are afraid to explore new ways to create their art pieces so we cultivate the skill of observing so that they can, be inspired by their surroundings and just go out there and be adventurous,” explains Ms Tan Wei Ling, the teacher-in-charge of the art club. She added, “We expose them to the Art world by letting them have a feel of how artists work and where the focus is on the process rather than the product.”
Relating his experience, Sistla said, “I had some problems with my artwork for the SYF art project. Some parts of my artwork cracked so I thought adding layers of clay would help. But it didn’t at all. So I did some research on how flaws are covered. I decided to use paint instead to cover up the tiny cracks. I’m glad I have been taught on the research processes and various art techniques.”
Sistla was overjoyed to participate in the SYF art project. He was very passionate about his artwork and wanted it to reflect his understanding of the theme. Although it was not selected as an entry for SYF, Sistla was not discouraged. He continued to put finishing touches for his artwork as it will be displayed in The Artique.
He also shared that his parents have commended on how he has improved his focus in his studies and became more calm and collected. “Before joining STAR Art Club, I lacked patience. But now, my parents noticed that I do my homework slowly and steadily, in a composed manner,” he said.
Another Primary Six student, Sugianto Allycia Kai Yun enjoyed clay modelling the most, making objects that are practical & useful to her daily life. “I was able to use some of the clay models that I’ve made as my piggy bank,” she said. She also added that the process of cleaning up after lessons taught her about being responsible and taking ownership.
Besides creating and innovating, the STAR Art Club also help to foster friendship and teach the students to work collaboratively. Aadhya Mehta, a Primary Five student said that she made many new friends after joining Art Club. “At first I was shy but now I communicate more with people. When I work in a group, I get to collaborate & combine ideas. That’s when I learned how to respect other people’s opinions,” she said.
Similarly, Benjamin Kang, a Primary Four student enjoyed group work and interacting with his friends while doing his art piece. “I like it this way rather than doing it all by myself where it can be boring and we get to discuss on how we can improve our art work,” he said.
When asked about his message to future students joining the Art Club, he has this to say:
“Have fun but don’t stain your clothes!”