7380 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Gillispie School / Elementary  / Tulipmania in the Art Room!

Tulipmania in the Art Room!

“When faces called flowers float out of the ground – it’s Spring!”
– E.E. Cummings

Have you noticed the cheerful “faces” beginning to appear above the steps to our Gillispie Library? Each winter our green-thumbed art room volunteer, Claudia Metcalfe, plant tulip bulbs in pots. These bulbs bloom into a lovely array of color that beckons spring into the Art Room and Gillispie community.

Within the Art Room, we observe the structure of this graceful plant. We carefully observe its onion-like bulb, elegant stem (which keeps on growing even after the flower blooms), and the shape and color of its leaves. The blooms spark our imagination with their colorful beauty and names to suit—like Maureen, Queen of the Night, and the feathery Parrot tulips.

We also learn about the extraordinary history of these flowers, their origin in Iran, and their cultivation in the Netherlands by Dutch traders. We discover that people would trade a cow, a horse, even a piano for one single bulb! Tulipmania!

Sometimes kindergarten students will take out a yardstick and measure the phenomenal growth of the tulips. Some tulips have reached the height of the students!

A Gillispie tradition for over fifteen years thanks to Mrs. Metcalfe, these pots of tulips are a source of inspiration in the art room for all grade levels. We use paint, pencils, paper and scissors, pastels, and clay to create unique still-lifes as diverse and individual as our students. We also take a good look at Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower close-ups.

Come up to the library patio and enjoy our annual Gillispie tulips!

Susan Walters
Art Teacher

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