Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hacienda Heights students meet Leonardo da Vinci

Kids show examples of sketches. (Mike Mullen / Correspondent )

Students at Mesa Robles School in Hacienda Heights attend an assembly to learn about famous artist Leonardo da Vinci. (Mike Mullen / Correspondent )

They were only 10 years old but they recognized works by the great master, Leonardo da Vinci. They oohed and ahhed at "The Last Supper" and smiled at "Mona Lisa."
The students at Mesa Robles Middle School in Hacienda Heights were learning all about the life and times of Leonardo.
The animated biography was part and parcel of the school's Art Masters assembly, an art program that studies the great artists of the world.
The last assembly offered Native-American artist Helen Hardin. The students even made their own kachina masks. But today, the kids learned about the Renaissance and the great Renaissance master.
Speaker Crystal Eychaner offered many fun facts about this great artist.
Art Masters instructor Crystal Eychaner presents program on April 22. (Mike Mullen / Correspondent )
was the name of his village, so he became known as Leonardo da Vinci," Eychaner told the hushed student body.

The young artist grew up in a wealthy family, she said. When his father recognized his prodigious talent, he sent his son to art school.
"They said Leonardo carried a sketchbook everywhere. He was always drawing and taking notes," Eychaner said.
Leonardo learned to use shading to make his subjects appear three dimensional. His works were so realistic, because he included the smallest details.

"Nobody really knows who Mona Lisa was. Some say it was his mother, some think it was a woman he knew named Lisa," Eychaner told the kids.

Napoleon hid the painting in his bedroom to keep it safe during the war, she said. Now the famous painting resides in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

And "The Last Supper" took Leonardo three years to paint. It was painted in fresh plaster in the fresco style, she told the students.

"Napoleon's troops later used the room it was in as a stable," Eychaner said.

Jacob Argueta and Adam Hernandez, both 10, later agreed that Leonardo had been a very interesting person. They also enjoyed the artist's works of art projected on the screen.

Classmate Carrie Zhao, 9, said she really likes art.

"The children really enjoy art. These programs are good for them," said kindergarten teacher Monica Martinez.

Later in the day, Martinez and the other teachers would learn some new art techniques from Eychaner. They would then teach their classes these art styles.

"The students made kachina masks last time. This time, we want them to look at a leaf and draw it just like Leonardo da Vinci would. He would include any bugs and veins that he saw," Eychaner said.

The Renaissance master would have been proud.

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