student and teacher working with letter tiles

EMS Digital Art Exhibit

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Mass., is featuring an exhibit of the work of students at Landmark Elementary•Middle School who participate in Gemma Flavin's Digital Art classes. The students were treated to an opening reception on February 5. They proudly discussed their artwork with parents, friends, and community members, explaining the medium and the inspiration behind their creativity while nibbling on cookies baked for the occasion by EMS's chef, Tom. The works, professionally matted, graced an entire wall of the museum's Activities Room.

Students in the Digital Art class use iPads and 3D drawing pens to create artwork that teaches traditional art skills and techniques as well as animation, green screen, and 3D hand-printing techniques. They work with various iPad apps in a work-flow model, moving from app to app, learning how to create, manipulate, save, and ultimately upload final images to an online art gallery.

Aaron '26, whose drawing featured a black-and-white collage of random objects with his name written in cursive over the items, said, "I took all the thoughts in my head and let them pour out onto my paper." He used a stylus and an iPad to create his work using the app Sketch Club. He was experimenting with a layering tool in the app.

"I am so proud of my students for creating such fantastic digital artwork," said Mrs. Flavin. "Due to our small class sizes and the amazing technology we have in our classroom, each of my students from first semester had the opportunity to be represented at the show."

Expressing Themselves as individuals

Parents were in awe of the quality of the work and how the program affords students the opportunity to express themselves.

Joe Morrison, the father of Graci '25, observed that the art revealed each students' individuality. "The students let their inner selves come out through their art. It's a wonderful thing." Graci, who created an image with pink and black checkerboard background with floating checkerboard globes using the Sketch Club app, said creating art relaxes her. "I like that we have freedom to create what we want. Making art is very relaxing," she said.

"As a local art educator for the past 32 years, I feel very fortunate to have such an outstanding museum nearby. Not only is the Cape Ann Museum a world-class museum of Cape Ann and Gloucester art and fishing history, but it has also evolved into a child-friendly museum that is always willing to work with local teachers in order to provide a beautiful and safe space to display our student work," said Mrs. Flavin. "The museum also offers a child-friendly space that provides hands-on art activities connected to the museum’s collections. I am very fortunate and grateful to have such a long standing relationship with such an amazing organization." 

Kendall Reynolds, education coordinator at the Cape Ann Museum, embraces the opportunity to introduce students and parents alike to the museum, acting as a bridge between the museum and the community. "Coming from an art education background, I deeply understand the importance of kids creating art and then being able to see it matted, labeled, and hung," said Kendall Reynolds, education coordinator at the Cape Ann Museum. "When they walk into a gallery of their work, search the walls for their own, and have their eyes light up when they find it...what a special moment to be able to create for these kids!"

The students' work will be on display at the Cape Ann Museum through February. The museum is located at 27 Pleasant St., Gloucester, Mass.

landmark digital art class cape ann museum