Art teachers have been among those quickly adjusting to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, taking projects that in many cases require specific materials and rethinking them so students can carry out their work with limited resources at home.

Junk-mail collages.

Drawing with dandelions.

Watercolor painting with dried-out markers.

These are just a few examples of art inspirations Indian Run Elementary School art teacher Mara Christine has given her Dublin City Schools students since classes have moved online because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Mike DeWine on March 12 ordered a statewide three-week closure of school buildings to limit the spread of the coronavirus. On March 30, he announced that schools would remain closed until at least May 1.

Art teachers are among those quickly adjusting, taking projects that in many cases require specific materials and rethinking them so students can carry out their work with limited resources at home.

Some children might have more art supplies than others at home, Christine said, and "now's not a great time" to make a quick run to the art-supply store -- especially if a family is experiencing financial difficulties.

But art doesn't have to be a creation that is displayed on the wall, Christine said. It is about play and interaction, she said, and process over product.

"I haven't assigned anything; I'm just trying to support creativity however I can during a very unusual time," she said.

Alyson Miller, an art teacher at the South-Western City School District's Alton Hall Elementary School in Galloway, said she has been giving her students options for projects and recognizing that they may have limitations with resources at home.

"It's been an interesting transition," she said.

Social-media platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram, on which art teachers share ideas, are a source of inspiration for Miller.

Many ideas she gives students involve objects found at home. For example, one project involved how to make rabbits and owls from cardboard.

Another day, she showed students how to make their own paint.

Students turn in their work via Google Classroom, sending her pictures of their creations and short written reflections about the projects, Miller said.

Social-media channels also have served as resources for Sarah Hebdo, who teaches three-dimensional arts, ceramics and computer graphics at Whitehall City Schools' Whitehall-Yearling High School.

Hebdo said she has found an abundance of information from a Facebook group for art teachers.

Since the onset of distance learning, Hebdo said she has been giving her students choices of projects to complete, with links to YouTube videos or other project inspirations.

For example, students had the option to take a photo of an object through a tube. Children also could make objects from a homemade clay fashioned from baking soda, cornstarch and water.

Another Whitehall-Yearling teacher, Mindy Staley, teaches drawing and painting at the high school.

During the first week of distance learning, Staley said she had her students create nontraditional art based on emotions they were feeling.

Students were able to use materials they could find at home. Pens and pencils, kitchen utensils, marbles, rice and Cheerios were some of the objects featured in the work, she said.

The students submitted pictures of their projects along with written explanations of the meaning behind their art.

In a similar project, Amanda Schaeffer had her Hilliard City Schools seventh- and eighth-graders draw whatever they wanted to illustrate a current situation. The students could create their work digitally or with pen and paper, and then they could upload the image online to a discussion forum, she said.

Schaeffer, who teaches environmental art on the district's Innovation Campus, said the project was a way for children to express themselves creatively and problem-solve together how to emotionally grapple with the pandemic.

"It's a complex situation right now," Schaeffer said.

Students won't all be able to complete projects in traditional ways, she said. To that end, she has been giving agency to her students to choose what their learning looks like and how they can achieve their tasks.

In some cases, that learning looks drastically different from what would be occurring within the classroom.

Kim Morrison, an art teacher at South-Western's Holt Crossing Intermediate School, said her students likely would create a clay project and learn how to make pinch pots in school.

But with the introduction of online learning, Morrison gave students multiple options for projects:

* They could pick something from Pinterest and make it.

* They could research an artist.

* They could create a project by following a YouTube instructional video.

After students returned from spring break April 13, they could choose one more of these projects to complete, she said.

Amy Buscemi, an art teacher at Hilliard's Darby Creek Elementary School, said she has been benefiting greatly from working closely with other art teachers in the district.

Because Buscemi's third-graders were learning about Giuseppe Arcimboldo -- an Italian painter with a penchant for using fruits, vegetables and other objects for his portrait heads -- Buscemi's students create a face using objects found at home.

"The work that I got was out of this world," she said.

The students also had to create faces out of food, she said.

Buscemi had her fifth-graders take photos with their district-issued iPads and show the contrast in value.

The pictures were great, she said, and she learned a lot about her students, such as their favorite candy or their pets.

"We're actually getting closer," she said. "It's a real positive."

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