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Art on a Cart Brings Joy at Bedford Village Elementary

 student stands over desk, working on watercolor painting inside a cardboard tray Paintbrushes swirled in water and tapped against the sides of cups as kindergarteners sang along to a video about different kinds of lines. While it sounds like a typical art class, like most things in 2020, it was art with a twist. 

Instead of taking place in Bedford Village Elementary School’s (BVES) art room, art classes this year come in the form of art on a cart. In order to accommodate social distancing guidelines to keep students and staff as safe as possible, schools in Bedford Central School District have been utilizing as much space as they can. In many cases, this means improvising for special area teachers.

Madalyn Grano, BVES‘s art teacher, can often be found wearing a black apron that says ART on the front and pushing a cart full of art supplies down the hallway on the way to her next class.

“One of the challenges is that not all of the rooms have sinks so I have to remember to bring water,” Grano said while uncapping lids on plastic containers so the kindergarteners could do some watercolor painting.

Her cart was full of cardboard copy paper boxes with makeshift water cup holders. Each student received a box delivered to their desk and painted on paper inside so as not to get their space too messy. While it was obvious that extra thought and preparation went into the class from Grano’s perspective, it was business as usual for the kindergarteners.

“My water is looking blue!” one student called out.

“Mine is looking orange! What color is yours?” another said.

A third student stared down at his painting, impressed with the results. Look at this darkish gray-green!” he called out.

“My goodness! The way you describe color is incredible!” Grano told him.

Students were thrilled to experiment with colors and shapes and to have the freedom to mix mediums if they wanted. Some used oil pastels and markers with their paintings and oohed and aahed over the effect. Others painted and then moved on to free drawing, creating color sharks while they sang “Baby Shark” together.

Creative and curious, students were fully engaged in the class — a testament to Grano’s preparedness and ability to adapt. While teaching would be easier from her own dedicated space, students were none the wiser.

student holds up watercolor painting