Art teacher’s new book fills a need

1 Mar

Next time you’re at Wegmans, make sure to pause a few extra moments near the book display and take a closer look. You might just see a name you recognize.

Plank Road North Elementary art teacher Natalie Palermo has published a new book, titled Rowan Discovers…The Elements of Art!!!  The 52-page, colorfully illustrated book looks at the seven basic elements of art from a child’s perspective – or, as Palermo explained it, “through the adventures of a young girl named Rowan.”

To say that the book was a labor of love is a bit of an understatement. Palermo has been working on it since 2005. It was then that she first noticed there was a need for such a resource. She wrote,

I saw the need for an elementary art education resource book for elementary art teachers and parents who homeschool their children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  When I would go to the larger book store chains…I would find books about artists, art history, “how to draw” types of books, but could not find a book solely dedicated to teaching the seven elements of art.

And so Rowan was born.

The book is designed for parents and teachers to use throughout a child’s elementary art education. Through easy-to-understand text and Palermo’s original artwork, each section introduces concepts in a way that can be easily adapted to individual grade levels. With the chapter that introduces the color wheel, for example, a first or second grade learner could learn about primary and secondary colors, while fourth or fifth graders could “graduate” to the intermediates. And thanks to that adaptability, Rowan Discovers…The Elements of Art! can be used as a supplement to classroom textbook, and also as an art education enrichment book for parents.

And of course, she uses it in her own classroom as well.

When I introduce my book to my students I tell them that they can achieve anything with hard work and persistence like I did with my book… my students enjoy seeing the illustrations and how the elements of art relate to the real world.

Rowan Discovers…The Elements of Art! is available right now at both Holt Road and Eastway Wegmans stores. Very soon you’ll also be able to find it at Hyatt’s All Things Creative (937 Jefferson Road, Henrietta)  and at the Memorial Art Gallery gift shop.


Palermo at the Temple of Apollo, Ortigia, Sicily

Meet Natalie Palermo

Palermo has taught art at the elementary and secondary levels for more than ten years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communication from S.U.N.Y Fredonia and Master of Science in Art Education from Nazareth College. She has traveled extensively to explore art throughout the United States and Europe. She regularly uses her artwork to help others, raising money for local charities including the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, Bethany House, the George Eastman House, the West Webster Fire Department, AIDS Rochester, and Hannah’s Hope School in Kenya. She currently teaches art at Plank Road North Elementary School in Webster.

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