Bunnings have long supported our Kitchen Garden program and we are always keen to support them. Recently Bunnings initiated a Make your Classroom Sing like Spring Art competition where schools were invited to enter artworks depicting their interpretation of Spring in the natural world. Bunnings provided the MDF boards and Chubby Pencil Paints and students turned on their creativity. Four of our classes entered the competition, with two winners and two runner-up prizes awarded! Winners were the Kitchen Garden Year 4 and 5 students, and Year 3 Room 6 students; Runners-up were the Kindy, and Year 3 Room 7 students! Congratulations to all who entered, as the results were amazing, and along the way many new skills and understandings were developed.
I spoke to Amber Sullivan, the activities organiser at our local Bunnings, and asked her the reason for the competition. She said:
With Covid we weren’t really able to get out in the community as much, so we thought by offering this competition we could show our involvement with the community as well as encouraging people to engage more with nature. We were overwhelmed with the response we received.
Each class took a different approach, with four very different artworks emerging.
Kitchen Garden Entry
This entry was a wonderful synergy of over 200 kitchen garden students, displaying vibrant depictions of plants from the garden program which were highlighted by the black infill of all the negative spaces on the board. Garden specialist Terri Sharpe explained that Year 4 and 5 garden students were given “complete autonomy in completing their entry”. Their instructions were to :
- draw edibles or flowers that grow in the school garden;
- not to sign their name or draw any words on the piece; and to
- try to fill the space entirely.
Asked for a comment, Terri said:
When I informed all students that they could do as they pleased with their entry, some of the students themselves expressed doubt that their peers would take their roles seriously and also said that the end result could be “a disaster”. I told these students that I trusted everyone to do their best, and that it didn’t matter if someone felt they were artistic or not – what mattered is that everyone had a go. The result is nothing short of spectacular.
She is currently sealing the artwork to display it in the school Kitchen.
Year 3 Room 6 Entry
The competion was all about Spring and living in a regional area where the natural environment is all around us, we chose to depict the Bushland in all its Spring glory as our art entry. Students painted a background of one third sky and two thirds grass with a forest tree in the foreground. Their instructions were to:
- imagine the bush and the plants and flowers you could find there in Spring;
- choose one of those flowering plants to draw, and to
- fill the landscape with plants to show the vibrancy and colour of the bush in Spring.
Teacher, Dawn Veary, said:
Students were given responsibility for finding the plants and what they looked like, and this developed into ‘point of need’ research by individual students into the wildflowers of the south west. They came up to me with details of beautiful orchids, ferns and other flowering plants which they’d discovered the names of as they selected suitable spots to draw them. They even added birds and tiny bees as points of interest amongst the flowers. Our interpretation of Spring is the bushland springing into life with sunny acacias, orchids and plenty of new growth.
This entry was a collaboration of all four kindy classes, each child drawing a picture of a flower, insect or bird on paper which was then collaged onto a black background to produce a magnificent collaborative artwork. The focus with this entry was on students being able to have the control and motor skills to draw their depiction. They were shown a couple of drawing tutorial videos to gain a greater understanding of how to draw a flower or insect, before being given the Chubby Sticks to unleash their creativity. The results were astonishing from these little four year olds, as I’m sure you’ll agree!
Kindy teacher, Mel Powell, said:
Margaret River Primary School’s Kindergarten are thrilled to receive a large set of gardening tools for coming runner-up in the Bunnings Spring Art Competition held at the end of Term 3. The four classes of Kindergarten children (76 children in total) each created their own artistic interpretation of Spring – flowers, insects, birds, etc. They had plenty of fun doing this with a lot of discussions about Spring (and Bunnings), and will no doubt have a lot of fun using the tools in their Nature Playground. Thanks Bunnings, for giving us the opportunity to participate!
Year 3 Room 7 Entry
Students centred their artwork around the logo “Spring has Sprung”, drawing detailed flowers and an intricate tree stem offset to the side which highlights the patterns and variations in colour not always obvious to the casual observer. The warm colour of the background highlighted the vibrancy of the Spring flowers.
Teacher, Giulietta Downing, said:
Before we began the task the class looked at some images of Australian wildflowers. They used these ideas to draw their interpretations of the beautiful native plants and flowers. I was very impressed with the drawings they produced.
Bunnings generously provided useful gardening prizes with the winning entries each receiving a garden bed, packs of gardening mix and a $50 Bunnings voucher, with the runners-up entries receiving quality kids’ gardening tools sets. We would like to thank Bunnings for their ongoing support for the community and for our kitchen garden program.
Written by D. Veary, with excerpts from individual teachers; Photos by T. Sharpe, A. Sullivan, M. Powell and D. Veary