Unit 4 Magnet Schools

Brilliance on Display: Stratton’s Art Fair

Multiple pieces of artwork.

Stratton’s annual art fair celebrated its third year on Thursday, April 25. Open to the entire community, the event showcased an amazing diversity of media created by K–5 students throughout this school year.

“The Art Fair is all about our studios,” explains Emily Young, magnet schools coordinator. “We offer around 30 different choice-based studios in the visual arts, dance, music, and drama.”

kids putting on performance

Families, educators, and the greater community enjoyed the opportunity to view student exhibits—including painting, sculpture, photography, and graphic design—and watch musical and dance performances. They also participated in student-led workshops. “We wanted kids to take ownership of teaching others,” says Young. “They headed different stations, inviting guests to help paint murals, make egg shakers, and create other make-and-take art.”

One awe-inspiring element of this year’s art fair featured first-time visitors to Stratton: members of the Plug-In Studio, a Chicago-based artist collective. Collaborating with diverse schools to introduce “tactical media”—robotics, circuit-based art, graffiti, and kinetic sculpture—they held a 2-hour workshop for students that culminated in an interactive display.

Kids working on a collabroative painting.

Next year, Stratton hopes to further expand the art fair. “We’d love to have more community involvement, like having our artists-in-residence show their work, too,” says Young.

Along with giving students a chance to demonstrate their hard work and talent, Stratton’s art fair is a true celebration of student achievement. “The students are so excited to show people their work. It gives them pride and confidence.”