Art lessons began this school year on Aug. 21 at Liberty Traditional School with seventh- and eighth-grade students learning shading techniques in pastel.
Prescott Valley artist Mei-June Liao demonstrated different ways to apply pastel to paper to create shadows and textures taken from still life photographs of fruit.
The free afterschool program is open to all students by grade level. Members of the Prescott Valley Art Guild teach the upper grades and the Prescott Art Docents will teach the first through fifth grades later in the school year.
The Humboldt Unified School District does not provide art teachers at the elementary grades. Most teachers will integrate some kind of art into their lessons, however.
At Liberty, the Parent-Teacher Organization supports the Wednesday afternoon program with materials and supplies. They do this through fundraisers like the annual walk-a-thon event and with T-shirt days. Parents and the community also have specified the PTO Art Fund on their tax credit donations, said Tammi Green, PTO art coordinator.
Liao retired from 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry in New Jersey, moved to Prescott Valley in 2009, and took up art.
"You are never too old to start art," she told the students.
Some of the students' work from this activity and others will be on display at the Yavapai County Fair school arts exhibit, and also at the Prescott Valley Civic Center during Arts Month next March.