Artie the Art Bus

Artie the Art Bus Visits Oakridge Schools

Artie is back at it! This time, the mural-covered mobile art classroom from Imagination International, Inc. (III) is visiting Oakridge School District. The bus brings arts education to schools throughout Lane County, seating 22 students at a time. In the last few months, Artie has also visited Creswell and Lowell as part of the STELLAR Project.

Artie is currently on the second of five weekly visits to Oakridge. According to III Community Program Instructor Nori Rice, Artie is keeping busy in Oakridge, hosting 4 to 5 sessions per day each Wednesday when the bus rolls into town. Oakridge art teacher and STELLAR participant Bev Isacksen said that students from all grade levels K-12 were participating in the Artie sessions, and that response from teachers and students has been outstanding. “Kids have loved it!”

Jose Ramirez drives Artie the Art Bus.

Jose Ramirez drives Artie the Art Bus.

At Oakridge, the Artie staff have been joined by comic artist Matt Brundage, whose work has appeared in the Vertigo Comics series Art Ops. Mr. Brundage worked with the students while also creating his own work—up to one complete character per hour! Mr. Brundage’s work can be seen at his Facebook page.

When Artie visited Lundy Elementary School in Lowell, the lessons focused on basic art skills and knowledge like using a color wheel. In the higher grade levels at Creswell and Oakridge, III teachers introduce the Creatures of Amalthea curriculum. The program teaches young artists how to develop creature designs and concept art for fantastical beasts. Developed by acclaimed creature designer Terryl Whitlatch—who has worked on films such as Men in Black, Jumanji, and Star Wars—the curriculum takes a research- and science-based approach to concept art, highlighting the importance of anatomy in creating believable creatures.

“Since classes only get 1-2 visits, the entire Creatures of Amalthea curriculum could not be included.  It is at least a week long or (5 session minimum) program,” Ms. Rice said. However, the curriculum can be downloaded for free at the III website. You can find out more about Creatures of Amalthea, including teaching manuals and videos, at https://imaginationinternationalinc.com/creatures-of-amalthea/.

School administrators who are interested in scheduling a visit from Artie can find more information, including how to contact the River Road Park and Recreation District at www.rrpark.org. To learn more about the STELLAR Project, visit owp.uoregon.edu.