New Lenox School District 122 art teacher Tammy Koreik guided fifth and sixth grade art club members at Nelson Ridge Elementary through painting small chairs to resemble master art works. Those students then gave the chairs to younger kids at Nelson Prairie Elementary. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 7, 2014 6:38AM
When it comes to teaching art, Tammy Koreik may deserve a standing ovation — or in this case, a seated one.
New Lenox School District 122 art teacher Koreik guided fifth- and sixth-grade art club members at Nelson Ridge Elementary through painting small chairs to resemble master art works. Those students then gave the chairs to younger kids at Nelson Prairie Elementary.
In addition to the older kids learning about what they were painting, they also presented the back ground and history of each artist and painting to the younger kids.
“My goal with this is to promote the knowledge of art history, and art in the classroom,” Koreik said.
Eight small wood chairs were made to resemble Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” Henri Matisse’s “The Purple Robe,” Sonia Delaunay’s “Rhythm,” Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night,” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Pablo Picasso’s “Portrait de Marie-Therese.”
Now, the eight chairs are kept in Koreik’s Nelson Prairie classroom, where the younger students take turns sitting in the chairs. She created a reading center area through a grant from the parent teacher organization.
“They are reading about art history and art while they are sitting in the chairs,” Koreik explained.
Koreik said she sees the students only for a half hour every other day. Painted chairs helps students recognize whole sets of paintings later in life.