Downtown Elementary School (DTES) was covered in a spatter of dots on Dec. 22 as it celebrated one of its long-standing traditions—Dot Day.
Dot Day is creativity, courage, and collaboration, said Anita Walsh, Artist-in-Residence for DTES.
“Imagine the power and potential of millions of people worldwide connecting, collaborating, creating, and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites,” she said. “I love that our students join the growing global community of creativity champions using their talents, gifts, and energy to move the world to a better place. We also celebrate art concepts—dot, line, shape, primary colors, and the work of [Japanese artist] Yayoi Kusama, known as the dot lady.”
DTES hopped on the Dot Day bandwagon in 2015 to celebrate Peter Reynolds’ book “The Dot.” It has a Prospect Schools’ International Baccalaureate spin with faculty and staff folding in interdisciplinary concepts like math, music, theater, physical education, and visual art.
The entire day is about dots as the school’s hallways, classrooms, and elevators were covered in dots, most artwork by the student body. There was another tradition involving the 5th-graders, in which they read books to kindergarteners and first graders in small groups, Walsh said.
“It’s so beautiful,” she added.
This year, first graders also explored the work of artist and activist Howardena Pindell. And “Yayoi Kusama” paid the kindergarten and 1st-grade classes a visit, escorted by Principal Folake-Akinola Pinard. Staff member Leah Mendelson role-played as the artist, and students participated in a question-and-answer session to showcase what they’ve learned in classes about Kusama.