The Summit School of Ahwatukee is exhibiting more than 280 art pieces created by its students at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

On display now through mid-January are paintings, prints and sculptures in Summit's exhibit, "Bridges: Connecting Earth to Sky," made by preschoolers through sixth-graders at the school. Those involved took part in the Vitruvius program, Summit's art curriculum created by art teacher Kathleen Kupper and her husband, Eugene Kupper.

For this exhibit, students were inspired by Paolo Soleri's architectural vision and concept of land conservation in Arizona, which is highlighted throughout the other SMoCA exhibits, as well as the Soleri bridge that is currently being built at the Scottsdale waterfront.

Kathy Covert, admissions and marketing director for Summit, said the Vitruvius program is centered on architecture and design, and that students are faced with real life scenarios.

"Students solve real problems," Covert said.

For the purpose of this exhibit, each grade was given a different concept to be inspired by. Preschool students listened to Elphinstone Dayrell's African folktale Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky, and then used chalk pastels and print-making methods to create a design that connects the earth and the sky on illustration board models.

Kindergarteners listened to Tomie de Paola's story The Mysterious Giant of Barletta, and were asked to construct a tower that resembled the idea of peace out of block construction and printmaking.

First-grade students constructed models of a community, including sustainable housing models and landscape design using oil pastel on canvas.

Second-graders created drawings of the color signature that connects the earth to the sky using chalk pastel on Canson paper.

Third-grade students collaborated and created a sculptural grid that makes renewable energy for the Energize Phoenix Project. The media used was acrylic paint on canvas, and also painted wood site models.

Fourth-graders collectively designed a self-sufficient community and created a site plan for it, as well as looking into furniture design and coming up with their own plans using canvas paintings, printmaking and wooden models.

Fifth-grade students designed architecture installations that connect diverse neighborhoods using fused bulls eye glass models on granite.

Lastly, sixth-graders created photographic montages of mobile architecture that could unfold into sheltering communities for people displaced by war or natural disasters.

The exhibit can be viewed in the Young@art Gallery inside the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., adjacent to the SMoCA, and will be on display until Jan. 17, 2011.

The Young@art Gallery is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon until 5 p.m. Admission is free.

To learn more about Summit, To learn more about the exhibits, go to

Chelsea Brown is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.


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