The motto of O’Hara School art hangs prominently in the art room.
The motto of O’Hara School art hangs prominently in the art room.
EUGENE — Every child is an artist.

That’s the motto in the art room at O’Hara School. For more than a decade, O’Hara has maintained a full-time art program with all students receiving an hour of art instruction each week. Julie Fulton and Shauna Scott share teaching duties. Together, they have developed a curriculum that exposes O’Hara students to more than 30 artists as they move from preschool to eighth grade.

Artists studied include Matisse, van Gogh, O’Keeffe, Escher, Picasso, Cassatt and Calder.

Students are able to work with tempera and acrylic paint, clay, watercolor, drawing pencils, oil pastels, collage, chalk, and others. They learn about famous artists and artworks. Each lesson includes information about the style and the medium that the artist used, as well as a little history about the artist.

Students do special projects for O’Hara events as well as outside events. Each year, fourth-grade students present the Talking Art Museum, in which they create paintings and enter into them, portraying the piece or the artists. Sixth-graders make saint icons and younger students create placemats for a fundraiser and also participate in Catholic Charities’ annual Christmas card competition. Every spring, two to three pieces of artwork per student are displayed at O’Hara’s annual art walk.

O’Hara’s art room is a favorite of students and volunteers alike; many of the same volunteers return year after year.

“It is so wonderful to see how much fun the kids are having and how proud they are of what they are creating,” says Janine Bryant, a parent who has been volunteering for four years. “I am always amazed at how truly good the artwork turns out. One thing I’ve realized through being in the art room is that not only are our kids getting to create fun, beautiful pieces, but they are learning something new each and every time they walk into that room.”