Students Live Art at Festival Events Took in Variety of Styles

Article excerpt

Nine-foot-tall mythical African figures pranced around Atlantic Beach Elementary School's campus Friday.

Kids danced mightily to live Celtic rhythms.

They painted in groups in the playground, using Spanish, French and American influences.

The elementary school students heard live Yiddish "Klezmer" music; they danced the Tarantella, probably the most famous Italian folk dance; they ambled back and forth to Caribbean rhythms.

Not your average day at Atlantic Beach Elementary. About 500 students participated in the school's annual Spring Arts Festival.

The day's events included a traditional Celtic music performance by the band Fiddle & Flute, including longtime Jacksonville cultural musicians Landon Walker and Sandy Herrault.

There was a lunchtime concert with traditional Yiddish folk artists Klezmania. Visiting visual artists led hands-on workshops exploring the art of Spain, France and American Georgia O'Keefe.

And a Caribbean dance troupe taught groups of youngsters Calypso dance moves with a special appearance by the Mocko Jumbies, two mythical 9-foot stilt walkers portraying characters from African and Caribbean folklore.

"Parents have really made a wonderful contribution to the quality of arts at our school," said Principal Aliette Register. …