OHS, Leighton Elementary Team Up for Collaborative Art Project

Leighton Elementary School kindergartener Ezra Cooper, right, discusses desired traits of a character he drew on paper, with assistance from Oswego High School junior Francesca Scanlon, left, as part of a collaborative art project to help Scanlon and her fellow computer graphic classmates in working with clients.

OSWEGO- Oswego High School computer graphic students in Erin Leigh Platten’s class recently helped visions of characters come to life for some of their youngest clients – kindergarten students at neighboring Leighton Elementary School.

Leighton Elementary School kindergartener Ezra Cooper, right, discusses desired traits of a character he drew on paper, with assistance from Oswego High School junior Francesca Scanlon, left, as part of a collaborative art project to help Scanlon and her fellow computer graphic classmates in working with clients.

The collaborative effort was the brainchild of Platten, who reached out to Leighton kindergarten teacher Heather Wood to help her pair high school students with elementary students for the multi-step artistic project.

While the project helped Platten’s students better understand the process of working with clients, it also provided Wood’s students the opportunity to express themselves and familiarize themselves with older Oswego City School District students.

“I also thought it helps to bridge the (age) gap,” Platten said. “High school students are big and intimidating to the youngest of our district population and little kids are often intimidating to our oldest students.”

Kindergarteners were given time to develop an original character in pencil before the OHS students interviewed them about their desired character appearance, personal traits, activities, habits and friendships.

Each computer graphics student returned to the high school graphics lab to render those characters using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop programs and basic skills in time frame animation to bring the characters to life.

The whole process, Platten said, will build on her students’ previous knowledge of the two Adobe programs and introduce them to the complexity of animation.

OHS students will have a few weeks to complete the project before they present their kindergarten clients with a printed copy of the renderings and a presentation of the animation prior to the upcoming holiday break.

Wood said she was happy to accommodate Platten’s plan and her kindergarteners enjoyed working with the high schoolers.