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Soul of the Earth Third Grade Art Exhibition

On Monday, January 13, third graders from across the district had the opportunity to see their artwork displayed in the Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center (Kulp Auditorium) and enjoy a concert by the Honey Child Soul Quintet.

The gallery event was a culmination of the Soul of the Earth Art Project, led by teaching artist Elisa S. Keeler. Over the fall, Keeler visited third grade art classes and led students through guided art exploration, using a flute of the Anasazi and Hopi people as a focal point. Students learned about the history of the instrument and the cultural background of the music, and drew on Keeler’s live flute playing as inspiration for their artwork.

“This work with third graders at all eight elementary schools was extremely fulfilling,” Keeler said. “During each classroom visit, students dropped into a deep state of concentration and stillness as they created their works of art. It was a true collaboration. The music inspired their creations and in turn, I was incredibly impressed and inspired by their creations. Each one was so unique.”

All of the work created through the Soul of the Earth Art Project was on display in the Performing Arts Center when the third graders visited Ithaca High School on January 13. The Honey Child Soul Quintet also performed a concert for the students, playing the songs that inspired their artwork.

Daphne Shululu, ICSD Fine and Performing Arts Director, emphasized the value of this type of experience and collaboration for students. “When artwork is presented in an authentic exhibition and performance setting such as this one, third graders have the opportunity to experience the impact of their creativity and the chance to see themselves as emerging young artists.”

The Soul of the Earth Art Project was supported by the Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI). The FABG works in partnership with the Ithaca City School District to support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. Visit to learn more.

Check out this video of the third graders singing "Stop, Think, Choose Peace" with the Honey Child Soul Quintet! For photos from the event, visit our Facebook page