Although it's known as All Arts Day, the annual program that immerses Grandview Heights' Stevenson Elementary School students in all forms of art might just as well be called All Play Day.

The entire school day April 12 was devoted to the arts, with students rotating through a variety of stations set up throughout the school.

Many stations featured fun activities, said Stevenson art teacher Laura Bova, who coordinates All Arts Day.

"Art is play for kids, but it's also a way for them to explore being creative," Bova said, "and being creative helps us get things done, whether we're children or adults."

At each station, professional artists and parent volunteers led students through hands-on learning activities.

"We want to expose them to as many forms of art and try to inspire their interest in art," Bova said.

The day's activities included the Cardboard Challenge for second- and third-grade students in the school gym.

Bova said the challenge was based on the short film "Caine's Arcade," about a Los Angeles youngster whose makeshift cardboard arcade drew national attention.

"Our students worked collaboratively and creatively to design and build something using cardboard," Bova said.

Students in kindergarten and first grade participated in dance exercises led by Columbus dancer Chloe Napoletano.

All grade levels watched a video about healthful foods that featured Ohio State University dance students.

After they watched the video, Stevenson students participated in their own dance that involved them stomping on sugar cubes and pasta, Bova said.

"It was a big mess, but it was a lot of fun," she said. "Then the students were interviewed for a video where they were asked about what they saw in the video and what they thought about it. They got to dance, talk about and write about their feelings about the video."

Dance and movement also were part of students' visit with Columbus artist Pilgrim Heidi Kambitsch and her creations, Open Heart Creatures.

"These are life-sized body puppets and we had some of our teachers put them on and begin to move around," Bova said.

"The students would move and dance along with them to mimic their actions. It's such a fun way for them to explore music and dance."

Bova's art classroom was turned into a shared paint studio led by Grandview resident Josh Bills, whose twin daughters, Ellie and Claire, are Stevenson first-graders.

Bills has combined his love of golf and painting into a sideline business, selling landscape paintings of golf courses.

"I've always been interested in art and I love golf, so this is a way for me to have the best of both worlds," he said.

It all began about five years ago when he painted a rendition of the sixth hole at Pebble Beach Golf Course as a birthday gift for his father.

"My brothers, me and my dad played a round of golf there one day and he was on fire -- he shot a 75," Bills said. "I wanted to do something to commemorate that fun, special day we had together."

His paintings offer a golfer's view of the courses he visits, he said.

"I want to try to bring back the feeling you have, the fun of just being out on the course," Bills said.

Bills invited Stevenson students to paint their own landscape painting, interpreting one of several photographs he took at golf courses.

"I had them use the same basic five colors for their palette that I use," he said. "I wanted them to experience the variety of shades and colors you can create with just those five basic colors."

Another goal was to have students think about trying to capture their subject in a realistic way, Bills said.

"Kids usually like to use a lot of bright colors when they paint, but I wanted them to think about using light, shade and dark colors to really try show what the scene looks like," he said.

First-graders Nola Herman and Elizabeth Bradley were busy after lunch creating their paintings based on Bills' photographs.

"I just like to draw things," Nola said. "You get to decide what you want to put in your drawing."

Art is fun because "you get to use your imagination," Elizabeth said.

"It's like having a picture book without any pictures," she said. "Your imagination is what puts the pictures in the book."

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