Cherry Valley Elementary celebrates ‘Arts Alive’

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD

Students work on their interactive mural with artist Joe Lee Davidson. Photos by Leanne Christensen
What do you get when you bring together over one dozen local artists/creative masters, children ages 5 to 10, enthusiastic teachers, and a  resourceful group of Cherry Valley PTA volunteers … you get an inspiring and creative event-filled day of  hip hop/ribbon dancing, songwriting, pantomime, psychedelic hand prints, watercolor masterpieces, percussion and keyboard music, still life drawings, mixed media murals, clay creations, ballet lessons and henna art!


That is exactly what students at Cherry Valley Elementary experienced on Friday, February 24th, when their PTA leaders organized and sponsored “Arts Alive 2012.”

This day-long event gives all students the exciting opportunity to experience ART in countless forms, as classrooms and libraries are magically transformed into concert halls, stages and art museums.

Local artist Joe Lee Davidson covered the gym walls with reams of blank paper which soon became vibrant, stimulating mixed media murals.

Dance instructor Rachel Blockus converted the school’s gym floor into a creative platform, inspiring students  with lively physical dance movements and imaginative role playing.

Henna artist, Jai Kavathekar, explained aspects of the Hindi Language as students created designs for their Henna hand tattoos, and Badieh Bryant brought the intrigue of still life and water color painting to students as the library became a canvas of color.

Cherry Valley Principal Darcy Becker expressed her appreciation stating, “Arts Alive is a day for all Cherry Valley students to experience the arts (music, dance, theater and visual art) all day long.

Students enjoy their creative movement/dance during Arts Alive Day.
“Students love Arts Alive Day! They also begin to recognize and appreciate other students’ works of art more deeply and with a greater understanding.”


Music teacher Jonna Farley said, “We are so very fortunate to have professional local artists of each art medium provide interactive workshops in their field of art expertise.”

Cherry Valley Elementary would like to thank PTA chairpersons Kim Puhrmann, Tiffay Grayum and Jill Dalton, The Duvall Cultural Commission, organizer/teacher Jonna Farley and the following artists for giving of their time and talents in the creation of such an inspirational and educational event.


Rachel Blockhus – Duvall Performing Arts

Jayne Hancock – TJ Dance

Peg Burnside – TJ Dance

Bethany McCaig – TJ Dance


Carmen Nemeth –Musikgarten

Tim Noah – Thumbnail Theater


Cyndi Soup – Thumbnail Theater

Stephanie Smith – Cascade Community Theater


Dan Cautrell – Prints

Badieh Bryant – Watercolor

Joe Lee Davidson – Murals

Terri Muharsky – Drawing

Melanie Pollon – Clay

Jai Kavathekar – Henna Art

“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”

–William Bennett

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