Sculpting the minds of children through Augusta Savage

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Feb. 26, 2019 - “Think about what you want to do when you grow up. What do you want to be? A doctor? A singer? An artist? You want to be seen and heard and recognized! You want people to know who you are.”

This is the message received by Lake Lucina Elementary students during their recent tour of the Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman Exhibit at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.

The tour – which is free to fourth-grade students thanks to the district’s partnership with the Cummer Museum – brought black history to life as students studied the life, legacy and artwork of the local Harlem Renaissance legend.

Savage was born in Green Cove Springs and was a key player in arts education during the depression era. Her Harlem Community Arts Center served as a model for other arts centers across the nation.

In discussing Savage’s influence and artwork, the docent, or guide, also brought to life the students’ geometry and vocabulary lessons. Fourth-grade students sat cross-legged on the floor and watched intently as she stood next to each of Savage’s sculptures.

“The bodies that make up the strings in the harp are rectangles and their heads are circles,” the docent said as she pointed out the geometrical shapes in Savage’s sculpture, The Harp.

Lake Lucina student, Zaria, told Team Duval News about her favorite part of the tour and her plans for the future.

“My favorite part was the sculptures that Augusta Savage made,” said Zaria. “I want to be an artist when I grow up.”

Her teacher, Amy Williams, hopes all her students embrace the information they learned at the museum. She wants them to relate it back to the lessons they learned in the classroom and use it in the future.

“I want them to be able to share this information with their family and friends from a black history point of view,” said Williams. “I hope one of my students can be a future James Weldon Johnson for Jacksonville.”

Thank you to the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens for putting a creative twist to our students’ core-curricula.

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