LA PUENTE, CA – Students from Bassett Unified’s Edgewood Academy and Sunkist Elementary explored an abundance of art-based activities on Oct. 30 during the third annual Festival of the Arts hosted by the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of the East San Gabriel Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).

Five special education classes from Bassett Unified joined more than 850 students from across the region to celebrate visual arts by creating decoupage pieces, colorful tissue paper flowers and beaded bracelets.

“Giving our students the opportunity for peer-to-peer collaboration develops a sense of belonging,” Edgewood Academy special education specialist Barbara Granados said. “Our goal for next year is to win a ribbon for Bassett; the students already want to come up with ideas.”

The event included displays of student art work, a live performance and stations allowing students to engage with a variety of interactive art. Halloween-inspired activities included plastic pumpkins filled with mystery objects for students to identify by touch and a “Ghostbusters” dance-along.

Twelve Edgewood students highlighted their “Needs to Know” poster, a piece that informs the viewer about impressionist artwork and includes information on color theory and mixed pastels. The poster was developed as part of a project-based learning lesson, which engages students in collaborative hands-on work for complex challenges.

Bassett High School art teacher Brian Prieto had his students serve as mentors for Edgewood students by teaching them art vocabulary, history and techniques. The students worked in groups to recreate personal art using the same medium, style and subject matter as the highlighted impressionist artist Van Gogh.

“This was a great opportunity to unite students across all levels with similar passions and to use art as a gateway for mentoring and creating original, personal pieces,” Prieto said. “I look forward to future collaborations with other Bassett Unified schools.”

Students highlighted impressionist art for the SELPA Festival after learning about Van Gogh through Edgewood Academy’s Meet the Masters, a national arts education program in which students can learn about the life, art and techniques of well-known artists in multiple genres.

“Our District aims to engage our students at an early age with a variety of opportunities that enriches their education,” Bassett Unified Interim Superintendent Debra French said. “We are delighted to be involved with this event that celebrates the talent and artistic abilities of our students.”

East San Gabriel SELPA launched the Festival of the Arts in 2015-16 to provide a venue for students to share their art and to inspire new ways of creating art.


112117_BASSETT_SELPA1: Bassett Unified students joined more than 850 students from across the region at the SELPA Festival on Oct. 30, and participated in various activities, including creating decoupage pieces, colorful tissue paper flowers and beaded bracelets.

112117_BASSETT_SELPA2: Bassett Unified students created art pieces at the SELPA Festival, and viewed student art work, a live performance and engaged with a variety of interactive art.