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Студенц Эмбраце тэ Руссиан Цультуре: Students Embrace Russian Culture

Mrs. Iryna Covarrubias spoke to students in Alicia Swackhamer's art class about Russian artwork and culture.

Visual Arts students at Forest Hills High School had the opportunity to learn all about the Russian culture and their rich history of egg art. Art teacher, Alicia Swackhamer, received a grant from the Union County Community Arts Council through their Arts in Schools Program. This grant allowed students to not only learn about Russian culture, but each student was provided a wooden egg and egg stand to create their own Russian egg.

Students got a first-hand experience learning about Russia and the Ukraine from Iryna Covarrubias. Mrs. Covarrubias was born in Russia and lived in the Ukraine. She shared stories and images all about the Russian culture. Mrs. Covarrubias even brought authentic Russian artwork and eggs for all the students to look at and see first-hand.

Russian egg art dates way back in Russian heritage to the days of kings and queens. Peter Carl Faberge created an egg every Easter for the royal family. These were not ordinary Easter eggs. Faberge was a jeweler and a goldsmith. His eggs were extremely ornate and bejeweled. At an auction in 1994, a Faberge egg sold for a record $5.5 million dollars.

Visual Arts students in grades ten through twelve had an opportunity to create their own version of a Faberge egg. Sophomore, Esmerelda Gomez stated, “It is fun to paint an egg but much harder than you think!” Senior Evie Jarvis had this to say about her experience. “Trying to get a big picture on a small thing is difficult, but it’s therapeutic.”

Mrs. Swackhamer was thrilled with the entire project. “This has been a really great experience for all of the students. Having Mrs. Covarrubias come and talk to the students was by far the most rewarding part of the process. She was amazing! The students asked so many questions that she stayed twice as long as she intended. It was awesome! I am very grateful to the Union County Community Arts Council for this opportunity,” she said.

Written by: Alicia Swackhamer
Posted: Apr 03, 2014 by Melissa Howell

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