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Spiva Center for the Arts Tools in Motion Exhibit

Joplin students in the gifted program incorporate education with art at the Spiva Center for the Arts.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Joplin students incorporate education with art at the Spiva Center for the Arts. Innovation, invention, and inquiry. That's the focus for the Tools in Motion Exhibit and an opportunity for Joplin gifted students to further their education.

"We started our unit with a discussion of Da Vinci and how he sketched simple machines of the 15th century in his notebooks. So, we thought that we would open up the students to simple machines and tools of today," said Wendee Hughes, Joplin Elementary Gifted Center Teacher. 

Wendee Hughes is a teacher at the Joplin Elementary Gifted Center. She says her students love to dig deeper into their studies, like the impact of Leonardo Da Vinci and his machines. 

"How those were used in an invention during that day and age. So, just opening up that dialogue and that understanding," said Hughes. 

She says that some of her students like pieces that are untitled because it gives them a chance to create their own meaning, but others like to know what the artist is thinking. For one fourth grader, her favorite piece is "Light Load."

"It's, I think, a person carrying a bunch of tools and I was thinking how is that a light load? That's a bunch of tools, that's heavy," said 

Another students says there's just too many great pieces to chose a favorite.

"I'm not really sure. There's actually a lot of good things here," said Shane Burks, 4th Grader. 

After studying the art collection, students got a chance to create their own masterpiece, in this case, shaped like a hammer.

"They decorate it, just symbolizing things that are meaningful to them and meaningful about living in Joplin," said Hughes. 

Hughes says this visit today is helping to build an appreciation for the arts as a whole.

"That esthetic beauty and they enjoy looking at paintings, and tools and sculptures and talking about what it means to them," said Hughes. 

Every year the students take a field trip somewhere that best exemplifies the school year's theme. This is the first year they've visited the Spiva Center for educational purposes. 

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