21 Aug 2014
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Lunch Aide Inspires Students to Dabble in Pointillism

Exhibit at the library will run through Aug. 31

Lunch Aide Inspires Students to Dabble in Pointillism Lunch Aide Inspires Students to Dabble in Pointillism Lunch Aide Inspires Students to Dabble in Pointillism

Artwork with a point – that’s what students at , and schools have created with their “Lots and Lots of Dots” pointillism exhibit at the .

This is the second year that students from the “Lunch Bunch” have showcased their drawings in the library’s gallery. Hawthorne lunch aide and Teaneck resident Jackie Giel has been encouraging students for years to express their artistic side through pointillism, which is a technique used by Giel in her own artwork.

Artist Georges Seurat is credited with developing the technique in the late 1880s. Pointillism involves the application of dot-like marks that come together to produce a more complete, blended picture.

Involving the school children with pointillism came about when aides were struggling to keep students occupied with indoor recess, which takes place right before lunch.

“We were looking for ideas to spice things up,” Giel said. “I showed them pointillism and told them to try dotting.”

Giel, who’s been a lunch aide at Hawthorne for five years, said she’s always loved art. She said she remembers pulling out vinyl table clothes while her two children were growing up so they could have fun with finger paints.

Giel has a 13-year-old at Thomas Jefferson and a 9-year-old at Lowell. She and her family, which also includes husband Jim, live in the home that Giel grew up in as a child.

She said people who know her, or bump into her, will always find her carrying a tote bag over her shoulder that’s full of recycled paper and markers. She said she takes her art kit everywhere she goes.

“It started when my kids took up tae kwon do; while they’d practice, I’d pull out my markers and just work,” Giel said. “I’d bring my art kit everywhere. People would compliment my work, but kids especially would come running when they’d see I had markers and paper. Kids from age 3 to high-school age were interested in my art kit.”

Inspiration for Giel’s work comes from nature, more specifically trees.

“My thing is trees; I always do trees,” she said. “They’re just there. They’re also an accessible subject to kids.”

Giel didn’t have any pointillism-related tips to impart to budding artists except that she never does an outline and that she begins with the tree trunk.

“I like to start from the ground and work my way up,” she said.

features work from students in the second, third, fifth and seventh grades. Their drawings, which can be found in the gallery’s cases, will be up through Aug. 31.

Giel, herself, had her own artwork on exhibit at the library in 2009.

“I wanted to do another show, so I filled out an application at the library, and it was suggested that I involve the students,” Giel said. “The students loved it. The younger ones especially were really psyched.”

The artwork from the students includes bridges, flowers, and what Giel describes as “just dots.”

“It’s adorable,” she said.

Giel’s daughter Shelby, who’s 9, is featured in the exhibit. Shelby said she draws a lot at home and enjoys using pencils, markers and paints. She created a pointillism drawing of a flower.

“I think it looks good,” she said.

When asked if she’s proud of her mother’s artistic abilities, Shelby didn’t hesitate to say “yes.”

“She’s not only great at it,” Shelby said. “She’s perfect.”

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