Service-Learning Meets Service Drawing!

Service-Learning Meets Service Drawing!

Birmingham artist Dr. Don Stewart has teamed up with service-learning guru Barry Guillot’s Wetland Watchers to help rebuild the Louisiana coastal landscape. Last April, the physician-turned-visual humorist was invited to speak with science and art students at the Hurst Middle School in Destrehan, LA. Stewart was also there to gather material for a new drawing, which will be used to publicize and raise money for the Wetland Watchers. Stewart was the guest of Barry Guillot, an award-winning middle school science teacher who is using the local wetlands as an outdoor laboratory to teach his students about the environment. “Mr. Barry”, as he is called by local custom, is known nationally for his educationally-based wetland reclamation efforts – the Wetland Watchers – and for his leadership in the growing Service Learning movement. Among his many kudos, Guillot has been recognized by filmmaker George Lucas’ Edutopia program as one of the leading educators in America.   “Mr. Barry discovered my work hanging in a local McDonald’s restaurant, and contacted me about doing something to promote the Wetland Watchers project,” Stewart said. “We decided on a composite drawing of an alligator, made out of things native to the wetland, and to the New Orleans area”. Composite refers to the artist’s characteristic drawing style, creating large pictures from a number of smaller images. Stewart received input directly from the students, who gave the artist a long list of items to include in the drawing. In return, he has been keeping them up to date on the project, sending sketches by e-mail to show them how the drawing is developing, step by step. “We...
Alabama Artist Partners with the Wetland Watchers to Raise Coastal Land Loss Awareness!

Alabama Artist Partners with the Wetland Watchers to Raise Coastal Land Loss Awareness!

Hurst teacher, Barry Guillot, was introduced to Don Stewart’s work during a break from as a driver’s ed instructor at the McDonald’s Restaurant in LaPlace, Louisiana. The composite drawing of a saxophone made completely of marine animals and entitled “Musical Scales” was a perfect present for his sax playing/ scuba diving teenage son! Guillot wrote the author’s name on a napkin and contacted him that evening about possible doing a wetland themed project.   Hurst Middle students present artist Don Stewart with a painted shrimp boot as a thank you for volunteering to be a part of the Wetland Watcher Project! Along with the students are Hurst Talented Art Teacher, John Taube, Hurst teacher Barry Guillot, and Alabama artist Don Stewart.   CHECK OUT THE PROJECT PROGRESS IN THE ATTACHED POST! Don Stewart is a former physician who uses his complex artwork to entertain and educate. Dr. Stewart is working with art and science students at Hurst Middle School to create a new drawing of an alligator for their Wetland Watchers project. To see examples of his award winning composite drawings, be sure to visit dsart.com. You will be amazed and humored at the many exceptional works of art in his gallery! “I’m still a biologist at heart, and part of my training included work along the Gulf coast” said Dr. Stewart, “I am amazed at how much the wetlands have been destroyed in my lifetime. It is encouraging to see that the trend is now reversing, and that the next generation will play an active role in maintaining this incredible ecosystem. Hopefully this art project will bring more...
DON STEWART WETLAND ALLIGATOR DRAWING STEP BY STEP PROGRESS!

DON STEWART WETLAND ALLIGATOR DRAWING STEP BY STEP PROGRESS!

In return for the students’ assistance, Dr. Stewart has been keeping the students up to date on the project, sending sketches by e-mail to show them how he creates his art, step by step. This process will continue until the work is completed. Enjoy the sketches and notes at each stage below! Gator 1 This is a preliminary attempt at drawing an alligator for the NOLA Wetland Watchers project. Barry Guillot’s middle school students asked me to draw the animal with a New Orleans and wetlands theme. Having never drawn a gator before, I had to do a little research, and make a few mistakes. This initial design was weak, skinny, and the head didn’t fit – but I was learning a lot about gator anatomy.   Gator 2 This is the next step in the Wetland Watchers project. Going back to my reference files, I focused on older, beefier gators, and cobbled several of them together to make Gator 2. This one was more interesting to look at, and gave me more to work with as well.   Gator 3 Gator 2 was modified to make a more interesting design, with more personality and more energy than the other two. He’s still horizontal, but now he looks like he is getting up to go somewhere, and the raised posture gives me more shapes to manipulate as the picture develops. This one was enlarged to 17” in length, and transferred onto a large piece of mat board.   Gator 4 Once the sketch was applied to the board, it became apparent that the design could use some additional tweaking....
George Lucas Education Foundation Edutopia Documentary Features Hurst Middle Wetland Watchers!

George Lucas Education Foundation Edutopia Documentary Features Hurst Middle Wetland Watchers!

The Wetland Watchers program is part of a schoolwide emphasis on service learning” can be found on the Edutopia Destrehan, La., Harry Hurst Middle students are highlighted in the George Lucas Education Foundation documentary, “Wetland Watchers: Kids Care For Their Environment”. The Wetland Watchers Service-Learning Project along with the Founder/ Coordinator were featured as an innovative approach to education using project-based strategies through service-learning. Although the video can be viewed below, a comprehensive article entitled “Swamped: Louisiana Students Become Wetlands Custodians website at http://www.edutopia.org/swamped-louisiana-students-become-wetlands-custodians...