It's time to put down your No. 2 pencils and bust out the paints, clay, and glue. While many schools are bumping art classes for FCAT drills, Arts for Learning/Miami (A4L) is dedicated to promoting the importance of arts in education. A partnership among Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and Young Audiences, Inc., A4L is a nonprofit organization that serves as a resource for any school interested in using the arts to improve academic lesson plans. "In a time when students are trained to the test, to fill in bubbles and dots, this is putting the fun back into learning," says Jane Gilbert, executive director. "Over 90 percent of participating teachers reported that students were more engaged in academics as a result of Arts for Learning."
Works from students and teachers in the A4L program will be showcased at tonight's opening reception of "What's the Connection?" The art projects on display were launched from classroom lessons in literature, geography, science, and math: After reading The Hobbit, students designed wizard hats; a performance of Maximum Dance's Carnival of the Animals -- a ballet about protecting endangered animals -- inspired environmentally friendly art made from recycled objects. Give props to young artists from 5:00 to 8:00 at the Newton Building, 3901 NE Second Ave., Miami. Call 305-576-1212, ext. 28, or visit www.arts4learning.org. --Lyssa Oberkreser
And go look at art
Rebel gallerist Erik Lopez is up to more of his behind-the-enemy-lines high jinks, blasting a tone-deaf Gables scene with Snoop Dogg and Guns N' Roses while lobbing his latest lowbrow grenade, "You Should Get Out More Often." Detonating tonight at 7:00 at Miami Art Lab (3117 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables), the show features the recklessly exuberant work of thrill-mongering skateboard rats turned paint slingers Daryll "Derail" Peirce and Jay Giroux.
Peirce, a San Diegoan who claims to have been weaned by coyotes and sports 60 stitches across his noggin, and Giroux, "a straight shooter from the state of Tampa," collide in an East Coast/West Coast showdown. "They bring real street vibe that is raw around here," promises Lopez. Call 305-461-1443, or visit www.miamiartlab.com. --Carlos Suarez de Jesus