Sculptures and Stories and Snakes, Oh My!

By Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education –

First-grade students at Beaumont Magnet Academy in Knoxville spent Wednesday morning learning how to create model magic clay snakes with the help of Knoxville-based teaching artist Annamaria Gundlach. Annamaria’s lesson was based around a story written by the artist titled Sammy, the Silent Singing Snake. In addition to creating their own sculptures, students wrote sentences and illustrations to accompany the art work. Following the artist’s visit, classroom teacher Pam Cox built on the presentation by leading the group to create a collaborative story based on the snake sculptures.

The instruction was provided free of charge thanks to the Knoxville Museum of Art’s Meet the Masters program which brings active artists/educators and museum resources into the classroom. Each session lasts about 90 minutes and combines art history with hands-on activities.