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Artists are trained to paint in a specific order: first the background, then the middle ground, and lastly the foreground.

Recently, our elementary school art teachers learned about a decorative technique of painting called “Reverse Painting” where the colors are applied in reverse order, beginning with the foreground. This is typically used on the interior surface of glass to create intricately designed lampshades and visually appealing windows.

While early examples of this artistic skill can be dated back to 1500 BC, it was most widespread from the 16th to 19th centuries, especially following the invention of the electric lamps that allowed light to beautifully filter through the translucent paint.

Today it is still an art form favored by local artists and artisans, and through our School SmARTS program, Orange County public school art teachers can now teach this technique in age-appropriate projects to share this skill with the next generation of creators.

Nearly 40 art teachers attended our professional development workshops this fall. These teachers then returned to their art rooms with free quality curriculum and more than $15,100 worth of creative materials to bring the hands-on lessons learned to life for their own students.

“The supplies that we receive will greatly impact the quality of the delivery of various lessons. It will enhance [the student’s] ability to compose an idea, control media, and follow steps to produce artwork.

It will impact student learning by thinking out of the box (in reverse).”

– OCPS Elementary School Art Teachers

Art supplies and curriculum are often the first things slashed in today’s tight school budgets.

Launched in 2006, the School SmARTS program integrates art into low-income classrooms to enhance creative learning. The program has two primary components:

  • Aunt Winnie’s Art Corner – This is a section within A Gift for Teaching’s Free Teacher Supply Store that provides teachers with basic quality art supplies.
  • Professional Development – In collaboration with Orange County Public Schools’ Visual & Performing Arts and The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, packaged art lessons and curriculum that cover skills such as drawing, watercolor, collage, and printmaking are provided to K-12 art teachers through free workshops.

You can help nurture artistic expressions and experiences in local classrooms. Be a Classroom Hero and join a passionate community of monthly donors who are committed to empowering educators and inspiring future leaders throughout the year.

In the 2022-2023 school year, $777,800+ worth of art supplies were distributed into the creative hands of future artists and the art teachers who participated in the professional development workshops brought back classroom sets of supplies to create more than 9,000 student projects.

Your giving adds up. In honor of our 25th birthday, generous funders will match new recurring monthly donations, dollar for dollar, for the first year. That means your $25 monthly gift will go further to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students in six classrooms this year!

Together, we can support the Arts to mold brighter futures.

Be a Classroom Hero Today