FHSU Grant offers children chance to paint Sue

HAYS, KS -- Elementary students from Hays schools are creating monoprint portraits of a T. rex named Sue, thanks to a grant designed by two Fort Hays State University faculty members. Cynthia Danner-Kuhn, clinical instructor of teacher education, and Dr. Debbie Mercer, assistant dean for professional services, designed the artistic response project with support of the university.

"After attending a staff development workshop with Deb Mercer, we began brainstorming a project to be designed for a grant, and painting monoprints has now become a reality," said Danner-Kuhn.

The visiting elementary classes view the Sue exhibit and then proceed to make a monoprint of their viewing. A monoprint is a single print created by transferring to paper an image that has been painted on a plastic plate. Transfer from the plate to the paper is accomplished by an etching press or by hand rubbing. This versatile printmaking process results in distinct painting textures and surface effects.

"Our summary of research objectives is to analyze elementary students' artistic and written response to the Sue exhibit at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History," said Danner-Kuhn.

In addition to the art project for elementary classes, teacher training for the artistic response project was held. The training session allowed the teachers to learn the monoprint process and the chance to make their own original painting. Because of the great response from the teacher training session another session is in the process of being scheduled for a later date.

"By the time the art project is finished we will have run 350 kids through the monoprint press and their artwork will be displayed all over Hays," said Danner-Kuhn.

The schedule for upcoming monoprint sessions are Roosevelt Elementary School third grade, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 14; Lincoln Elementary School fourth grade, 2:15-2:45 p.m., Monday, April 9; and Wilson Elementary School second grade, 2-2:30 p.m., Monday, April 16. All sessions are held in the Sternberg Museum classroom.

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