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Music of Strauss stirs creativity for young artists

What inspires art can be expressed in many different ways depending on the artist and the art form. The inspiration that 50 Appleton third- and fourth-graders drew from a piece of music and then expressed through visual art is on display at the Building for Kids Children’s Museum through this weekend.

Seventeen schools took part. The students listened to Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and communicated their reactions through color, texture and pattern. Their paintings adorned the lobbies of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Nov. 19 when the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra with guest bassist Edgar Meyer performed the piece. The art later moved to the annex of the Children’s Museum in time for last week’s Shop Local Saturday.

The display is part of a partnership called Big Arts in the Little Apple and involving the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Building for Kids and the Appleton Area School District. It was supported by  a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation.

Oliver Zarnow, community engagement manager for the symphony, said teachers have told him about the young artists were hanging out near their paintings, with their faces lighting up when they heard the reactions from the people viewing them.

The 50 artworks were selected from among 650 submissions in a juried selection involving the Building for Kids and the Richeson School of Art and Gallery.

The weekend won’t be your last chance to see the student artwork. Next spring, all 650 pieces will be on display is various locations throughout the community.

See photos of the art display and the concert.

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