Holy Rosary School completes Respect Life Art Contest

Special to The Message

Students at Holy Rosary School in Evansville did not let COVID-19 keep them from completing the annual Respect Life Art Contest for 2021-2022.

Following are highlights from each class provided by Holy Rosary art teacher Michelle Weisman.

Kindergarten – We discussed that a symbol is an object that reminds us of something else, how doves are a symbol of peace and of the Holy Spirit in the Catholic faith. We also discussed how oil and water do not mix. We first looked at flying white doves, and then created a simple line drawing using oil pastels. We watched the repelling action of how liquid watercolor paints glide over our oil pastel drawings and then finally we sprayed the art with vibrant watercolor pigments. 

First Grade – We talked about how God takes care of us, and guides us, without us knowing He is there. We know He has our back. The front figure is us, the back figure is God, and surrounding God are symbols of the things we enjoy, like painting, playing Legos, looking at flowers, etc. We began with tracing the large image in the back and then continued with a tracing of a boy or a girl figure. We included this year’s theme in the large image to say, “Follow in His footsteps.” We used crayons and various kinds of markers to complete the project. 

Second Grade – While the students were studying the Saints in their homerooms, we also discussed many things that the saints did during their lives. We looked at the prayer cards hanging in the art room (St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, St. Mother Theodore Guerin, and others) and talked about the saints that some people are named after, like Michael, Cecilia, Brigitte, Norbert, and others. We discussed what kinds of things make us think of certain saints. For instance, Mary may have baby Jesus in her arms or holding the crucified Jesus. Others may have a bible or rosary to show their prayer life. This project allowed students to capture a saint without capturing the details of their face. When we do not focus on the details of the person, we can focus on their achievements and ideals. 

Third Grade – We watched a BBC video touring Henri Matisse’s Chapel. The Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence (Chapel of the Rosary), often referred to as the Vence Chapel, is a small Catholic chapel located in the town of Vence on the French Riviera. Matisse designed and created the chapel for a nurse, Sister Jacques-Marie (Monique) Bourgeois. She took care of Matisse during a long recovery from cancer surgery. We created white windows using vibrant tissue paper in organic shapes like Matisse created and included black silhouettes of Christ, doves, roses and other symbols that reminded us of Mary, Jesus, and our faith. 

Fourth Grade – After looking at photos of the stained glass windows at Holy Rosary Church and several other churches around the world, including pre-fire images of Notre-Dame de Paris, we talked about the religious images that these windows depict. We began drawing simple shapes and symbols with a white colored pencil on black paper. We cut shapes and symbols out of the paper then glued tissue paper, frosted paper, and cellophane onto our black paper to emulate the look of vibrant stained glass. 

Fifth Grade – We talked about how our Catholic teachings can inspire us to be like Christ. We talked about the Saints that inspire us to be strong in faith, especially like Mary and Joseph. After finding inspiration from the Russian artist Marc Chagall’s dream-like art like White Crucifixion (1938), The Madonna of the Village (1938-1942), and I and the Village (1911), we created a mix of symbols and images from the life of Mary and Jesus, from our faith, and from what could look like our dreams. We used soft pastels on white paper. 

Sixth Grade – After taking a pictorial tour of the Holy Rosary church and school campus, we talked about the symbols, architecture, statues, and natural beauty that reminds of our Catholic faith. We then looked at ways to draw using only black ink by stippling, scumbling, or creating hatching lines. We used Ultra fine-tipped Sharpie and felt-tipped markers on Bristol paper to complete the artwork. 

Seventh Grade – We talked about Jesus and the ways in which He is depicted in artwork. After looking at many images of Christ, students chose from different color media to create their own portrait of Christ. Some chose watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, or watercolor paints, some chose oil pastels, markers, tempera paints, acrylic paints, and some chose mixed media. 

Eighth Grade – After watching the video by the Catholic Relief Services with the Respect Life theme set by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we talked about choices we make to respect others. The video states that, “As Catholics, we believe that every life is sacred, from the moment of conception until natural death. Every person is made in the image and likeness of God and so each and every person has inherent dignity.” Students were shown Byzantine mosaic portraits and asked to emulate this style of art by using tempera paint on white paper. Most students chose to portray their favorite saint.