Kids Curate is a yearlong program that integrates art and science into existing curriculum and culminates in an exhibition. It provides hands-on arts learning for students at schools with limited art programs. The program integrates art, science, history and writing into classroom curriculum, giving students an opportunity to learn about arts and cultural career possibilities.
In addition, Kids Curate creates strong relationships between the Museum and Central Oregon students and provides participating students with the pride of publicly and prominently displaying their artwork.
This year’s Kids Curate exhibition is created by fifth-grade students from R.E. Jewell Elementary School in Bend and opens Friday, May 7, 2021. The project explores how plants and animals use energy from the sun. Each individual class was assigned one of three habitats – forest, riparian or shrub-steppe. The ecosystems were studied in relation to energy creation for the unique plants and animals. The kids created a mural of line drawings of various flora and fauna from the different ecosystems.
Art supplies were distributed to the students in November. The entire program this year was done through Zoom video classes until students returned to full in-person learning in mid-April.
During the 2019-2020 school year, the High Desert Museum partnered with Rosland Elementary in La Pine! Students spent the year exploring wildlife corridors and migration routes for native creatures. During the 2018-2019 school year, Kids Curate was dedicated to Ensworth Elementary in northeast Bend. The project explored three main ecosystems of Smith Rock including rimrock, shrub-steppe and riparian. The final exhibit included a large-scale mural painting that depicted food webs in the three Smith Rock ecosystems, photographic landscape collages and three large erosion sculptures.
“We are so proud of how the students embraced this program in a different way this year,” said Bonnie Lee and Oliver P. Steele III Curator of Education Carolyn Nesbitt. “We all have the ability to examine plants and animals in our own neighborhoods, and the kids explored and embraced not only the assigned habitats but also what’s right out their own front doors.”