Art Smart is an art enrichment program for elementary schools that began about thirty years ago in Farmington. Initially it was called the Picture Lady Program. As men began to participate, it was renamed the Picture Person program. Later it was renamed Art Smart to eliminate any confusion with school picture-taking sessions.
The Farmington Arts Foundation (FAF) heads the program. The FAF Art Smart Committee members maintain the portfolios and see to their distribution and return at the end of the school year.
Each portfolio contains three to five prints of artwork. Included in the portfolio is a folder with a brief history of the artists and their pieces of art. These materials are used for the school presentations. The school representatives along with volunteers work with the schools to schedule the presentations which ensure that every child in every grade has an opportunity to view the artwork.
Included in the package is a resource folder which helps the volunteers decide how they would like to structure their presentations. While the intent is to introduce the children to various artists’ works, the underlying purpose is to help the children discover and become aware of their own interpretations of what they see and how the artwork makes them feel. It is an excellent opportunity to encourage creative thought processes and allow the students to explore why an artist created artwork in the way they did.
Many of the presenters choose to write simple notes to send home with the students in order for them to be able to continue the conversation at home. There are samples in the resource folders. The goal of this program is to have the children become more aware of the art around them as well encourage trips to the DIA or local galleries to continue their experiences in art.