The sun shone bright as 16 Asbury resident members of the Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative and other chaperones headed off to the National Gallery of Art last Friday with 19 Gaithersburg Elementary School students from our weekly after-school mentoring program. (Take a photo tour below.)
Excitement grew as the Washington Monument, aka, “the Pencil” in elementary school parlance, and the Lincoln Memorial came into view. Once inside, we were welcomed by two very knowledgeable docents who began the “Every Painting Tells a Story” tour specifically geared to fourth and fifth graders.
Students were introduced to artworks such as Rubens’ “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” and Edward Hick’s “Peaceable Kingdom,” joined discussions about the story behind each piece and selected a piece from the gallery walls to sketch on their own. Mentors enjoyed walking among the young artists seated on the gallery floor to see which painting each of them had chosen to render.
After the formal tour was over, it was on to the Cascade Cafe for lunch – always a highlight. The students were mesmerized by the dancing lights of the people mover connecting the cafe area with the East Gallery, and took several trips. Almost as interesting as the dancing lights were the cascading waters in the café’s glass wall. They found that they were unable to actually touch the water, but it wasn’t from lack of trying!
Both docents expressed appreciation for the students’ curious minds and for the quality of the questions that they asked. As we headed back to school, everyone agreed that it had been a great trip for students and mentors alike.
Would you like to learn more about the Beloved Community Initiative's outreach efforts and mission to increase understanding between different ages, races and cultures? Visit the Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative page on our website.
By Jan Garman, Asbury resident and Beloved Community member