Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Arts are an Integral Part of a Shorecrest Education

by Betty Gootson, Head of The Experiential School of Tampa Bay
Students celebrated the arts last week with joy, imagination, creativity, song and loved ones. Over 45 guest artists from the community shared their time and talents with students in Alpha - Eighth Grade. In addition, students from every grade had artwork on display around campus and performed for family and friends.

The children in the Alpha classes enjoyed movement and improvisation with Wayne Berman and decorating treasure bags and tiny pots - complete with planted seeds - with our own Mrs. Debbie Becker and Mrs. Lori Bell. The Junior Kindergartners engaged in healthy movement activities with Christie Bruner, drawing and pipette painting with Mrs. Anne Healey and ceramics with Mr. Tom Davis.

Performing arts were also present with local actors playing improv games and students bringing portions of poems to life through both pictures and recorded words.

A big hit for fourth graders was "exquisite corpse" painting. One student painted a head, another painted a torso and a third painted legs or a tail for a unique tryptic. The best collaborations were from those who didn't peek at what their partners were painting!

We are so grateful to the visiting, local artists who gave our students the opportunity to experience new art mediums, ways to move and to express themselves! Thank you also to the volunteers from our community who helped make the day run smoothly. 

On Friday, Lower School and Experiential School students performed in a musical program about the history and culture of our home city of St. Petersburg, Florida. Each grade sang a song to celebrate a different aspect of our beautiful and wonderful city. The Experiential School sang about our community's connection to baseball, kindergarten sang to our grandparents in honor of the important roles retirees play in our community, first graders sang the "Trepak" and did a short skit about the Russian origins of our city's name, and the second graders sang a song to Sunken Gardens and another about how important the railroad was to our city's creation. The third grade followed that with a celebration of our marine institutes and our wonderful beaches, and the fourth graders finished up with another beach commemoration. A family picnic (photos here) and chance to admire the artwork of students throughout the school were a great way to spend time together after the show.

A JK field experience at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts was a great follow up to our week of celebrating the arts, as well as a way to culminate the visual arts experiences the Junior Kindergartners have had with Mrs. Gootson throughout the year. With the guidance of two knowledgeable and child-oriented docents, the children explored this wonderland of art. They enjoyed viewing works of art new to them and identifying them as abstract, realistic, portrait, still life or landscape. The children were most excited to see the originals of works familiar to them, such as the Poppy by Georgia O’Keefe. Many of them are looking forward to using the passes they received to return to the Museum again to share their knowledge. 

Middle School and Upper School art was displayed for juried art shows. Blue, white and red ribbons for first, second and third place can still be found hanging by student art for you to view. Middle School students continued their tradition of recreating works of art through sidewalk chalk and had an afternoon show of peer rock bands. Upper School was also treated to an assembly watching films produced by their peers. 

The pinnacle of the week was the Upper School musical theatre performance of “Les Misérables.” It was difficult to remember during the show that the emotions and talent were coming from such young people. An exhibition of work by internationally recognized printmaker and graphic artist Barry Goodman was also presented in the Janet Root Theatre lobby and may still be enjoyed.

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Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.