Montessori advocates art as a way for children to communicate their feelings. It allows them to express themselves through many media, from painting to collaging. Children can also develop and practice fine motor skills. Art ultimately opens the door for children to make the most of their creativity in a way few other disciplines can. Knowing this, the staff at Grace Montessori School wanted to find a way to make art readily available and part of the curriculum – this is where the Baum School of Art comes into the picture.
This partnership began as a relationship between the art school and Grace Episcopal Church (Grace Montessori School’s founding organization). Baum School would provide half-tuition scholarships for elementary students, but, over the years, the Church’s rector, Father Patrick Malloy, developed a personal relationship with Rudy and Rose Ackerman and their daughter, Ann Lalik, the family that ran Baum School. He borrowed art from the school for liturgical purposes, arranged for liturgical exhibits in Baum’s galleries, participated in art tours, and more.
After Grace Montessori School’s elementary program was launched in 2006, Father Malloy approached Baum School Director Ann Lalik with the idea of enrolling students in weekly art classes, which she was very enthusiastic about. Local philanthropist Linny Fowler had recently donated funds to the Baum to support art education for city youth which would be directed to the GMS partnership. Since its inception in 2006, the relationship has continued and is still very strong today.
Currently, elementary students attend the Baum School of Art every Tuesday for two hours. They are introduced to all art forms, like sculpting, paper mache, painting, pottery, watercolor, sketching, and more. The students thoroughly enjoy these two hours each week!
We’d like to thank the Baum School of Art for its continued partnership – which is vital to the staff, our students, and the general GMS community. We wouldn’t be the same school without it.
Learn more about our elementary curriculum here or our general school practices and philosophies here.