"Gingko Leaf," by PS 230 2nd grader Benson Cheng was chosen for the Public School Art 2017 exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Brooklyn has several very large, old, beautiful trees. In the fall I take students outside to pick their leaves to study. Using pastels, they learn to draw the leaf as large as possible. It has to touch the top and bottom of the paper. We look at examples done by Georgia O’Keeffe. The students are taught to create layers of color and to make the background a contrasting color, preferably a complementary color. I teach the children that an artist who can draw from nature observes and understands the natural world, and we have to be observant.
Gingko Leaf is a small piece, but its color sense and composition are huge. Benson paid attention to the veins just enough to show how they radiate from the stem, indicating that the gingko leaf is from a prehistoric era. His choice of background color silhouettes the ginkgo leaf in such a way that it becomes monumental.
- Pearl Lau, PS 230 Art Teacher
To view student artwork in the P.S. Art 2017 exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, click here.