Sixth-graders throughout the Irvine Unified School District will receive a museum-sponsored introduction into the world of art this month without even leaving their classrooms.
Docents from the Severin Wunderman Museum in Irvine will present the students with an art appreciation program that is part lecture and part slide show. Organizers said that the one-hour presentation amounts to a cost-effective way of exposing students to art in a season of tight school budgets.
"It's very difficult to finance busing to get students to the museum. That's very expensive," said Doris Foulds, volunteer education coordinator for the Severin Wunderman Museum. "So we go to the schools and bring the museum to them."
Docents are scheduled to visit 24 sixth-grade classes by the end of May. Their program relies heavily on slides of artworks that are used to show students "how to look at art," Foulds said.
The volunteer instructors also discuss how to detect different lines, colors, shapes and textures in paintings as well as how to critique artwork.
"It's a broad program," she said. "It's a good general awareness course."
The museum also provides the students with art books designed to supplement the presentation. The books include illustrations of points brought out in the program and provide space for students to practice drawing.
The students also receive a coupon that will admit them and their parents to the museum.
Museum officials hope to eventually put together a similar arts program for Irvine's secondary schools students.