Purdue preschools host artist-in-residence

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Local artist Sunny Miller will be in residence through the end of April with Purdue University’s Child Development Lab School and during May with the Ben & Maxine Miller Child Learning Center.

The theme of “families are special – see how special?” will be explored using the creative arts during the monthlong project.

Local artist Sunny Miller will be in residence through the end of April with Purdue University's Child Development Lab School and during May with the Ben & Maxine Miller Child Learning Center.

Local artist Sunny Miller will be in residence through the end of April with Purdue University's Child Development Lab School and during May with the Ben & Maxine Miller Child Learning Center.

Jim Elicker, associate professor in child development and family studies and director of early childhood programs, said there are four goals behind the program:

  • Provide creative opportunities for all children to express ideas and feelings about their families;
  • Inspire and educate the early childhood teachers;
  • Build community and sense of shared mission with and in support of families, in all their forms;
  • Produce children’s art for public exhibition;

Miller has worked as a muralist, portrait artist, ceramics teacher, carpenter, gallery coordinator and teacher at the Hershey Elementary School in Lafayette, at the Lafayette Museum of Art and at Dance New England Summer Camp.

A Purdue graduate, Miller also taught for eight years at the Lafayette Art Center and Greater Lafayette Museum of Art. She specializes in large murals, which she has done for several major hotels in Boston, including the Copley Square Hotel, the Park Plaza Hotel and the Copley Plaza Hotel. She is working on a mural on North Ninth Street in Lafayette.

The Child Development Laboratory School offers morning or afternoon preschool classes during the academic year for children ages 2 to 5. A six-week summer morning program also is offered. Each classroom is staffed by professional head teachers with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in child development or early childhood education and extensive experience teaching young children. The program, established in 1926, was the first nursery school in Indiana.

The Ben & Maxine Miller Child Learning Center serves families with children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Infant or toddler and preschool classes operate year-round. Classrooms are staffed by professional head teachers who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in child development or early childhood education and extensive experience teaching young children. The program was founded in 1983.

The artist residency at the Purdue preschools is supported by grants from Chase Bank through the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and by the Florence and Richard Kerckhoff Fund at Purdue University.

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