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Art docent program fosters creativity, connection

Linderman Elementary celebrates another successful year with the Art Docent Program

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By Betsy Wade, Polson Schools

POLSON - As the school year begins to wrap up, we are reflecting on another successful year of the Art Docent Program at Linderman Elementary School. Coordinated by Edna Lemm, an artist and educator with a longstanding commitment to Polson Schools, the Art Docent Program provides students with engaging art experiences and art history lessons.

The Art Docent Program, started at Cherry Valley Elementary School in 2002, and implemented at Linderman Elementary School since 2017, is a volunteer-based initiative. Docents, who serve as volunteer art teachers and classroom guides, undergo training to present art history information and art lessons, supplementing the existing curriculum at Linderman Elementary.

This year, the program expanded its reach with a team of 35 dedicated art docents, including 16 community volunteers and 19 parents of Linderman Elementary students. Together, they conducted a total of 82 lessons, exposing students to a diverse array of artists and mediums. Throughout this school year, students explored the works of artists such as Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Klee, Etel Adnan, Eloise Renouf, Evans Flammond Sr., DG House, Vincent Van Gogh, and Beatrix Potter.

Each art lesson was a hands-on experience, allowing students to experiment with different mediums and materials. From chalk pastels and liquid watercolors to acrylic paint and Posca paint markers, students had the opportunity to unleash their creativity and explore their artistic potential. 

The Art Docent Program also serves as a platform for cultural exchange and appreciation. By featuring artists of many different backgrounds, students gain insight into diverse cultural perspectives and artistic traditions.

The Art Docent Program serves as a testament to the power of community collaboration. With the support of dedicated volunteers and the Polson School District staff, the program continues to thrive, enriching the educational experience of every Linderman student. This year’s volunteer docents included: Nancy Hemphill, Lorilee Kasnitz, Josie Lies, Tanya Patrick, Katie Walter, Karen Gunderson, Lindsay Godfrey, Breanne Utgaard, Felicia Gill, Sharon Thompson, Lakota Thompson, Marlena Looper, Susan McCormick, Linda Brownell, Layne Paddock, Chelsea Kleinmeyer, Cat Hogenson, Amanda Hardin, Stephanie Eickmeyer, Nikki McKinsey, Summer Goddard, Megan Pope, Heather Whisman, Kathi Beeks, Marilyn Lemm, Joyce Crosby, Carrie Sood, Sara Scott, Pam McCrumb, Crystal Page, Jeremy Page, Valerie Burningham, Christina Bucarey, Betsy Wade, and Chastity Wagner. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer art docent in future school years, contact Betsy Wade by email at: bwade@polson.k12.mt.us or by phone at 406-883-6355 ext. 603. 

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