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Alyssa Katahara, 9, plays the harp at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show" put on by fourth-graders Wednesday at Patch Elementary School in Stuttgart, Germany.

Alyssa Katahara, 9, plays the harp at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show" put on by fourth-graders Wednesday at Patch Elementary School in Stuttgart, Germany. (Charlie Coon / S&S)

Alyssa Katahara, 9, plays the harp at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show" put on by fourth-graders Wednesday at Patch Elementary School in Stuttgart, Germany.

Alyssa Katahara, 9, plays the harp at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show" put on by fourth-graders Wednesday at Patch Elementary School in Stuttgart, Germany. (Charlie Coon / S&S)

From left, Sara Thompson and Carol Darby listen on Wednesday as aspiring artist Harley Thompson discusses painting techniques at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show."

From left, Sara Thompson and Carol Darby listen on Wednesday as aspiring artist Harley Thompson discusses painting techniques at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show." (Charlie Coon / S&S)

Hannah Mallets, left, and Mary Gorry are offered sparkling grape juice by Tori Persky at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show."

Hannah Mallets, left, and Mary Gorry are offered sparkling grape juice by Tori Persky at the "See For Yourself Watercolor Art Show." (Charlie Coon / S&S)

STUTTGART, Germany — Harley Thompson stroked his chin and considered his year in painting.

“At first, we thought our paintings we the best ones ever,” the fourth-grader said.

“As we were going through the year, I guess then I thought they were kind of dull.”

Lo and behold, new and improved paintings soon replaced the dull ones.

Welcome to the “See for Yourself Watercolor Art Show, Presented by Ms. Kloss’ Fourth-Grade Students,” an elegant affair on Wednesday at Patch Elementary School.

More than 250 paintings were displayed, and boys in suits mingled with girls in dresses as proud parents watched.

Harpists played, scented candles burned and servers poured sparkling juice in champagne glasses. Hors d’oeuvres? Naturally.

“It’s so beautiful,” said Sara Thompson, Harley’s mother. “I feel elegant, and it makes these kids feel special.”

There were even chairs set up in front of the walls of artworks, so people could sit, admire and ponder.

The gallery, which was normally the school cafeteria, was set up so visitors would walk through the works as they progressed over the year — from the simple skills learned in September to the self-portraits painted in May.

“This night is a culmination of what we’ve been doing all year with art,” said Barbara Kloss, the fourth-grade teacher.

Not everyone is good at art, Kloss said.

Some of the top academic kids can’t draw worth a darn, while some of the special education kids who struggle with math and other subjects excel at art, she said.

The artists all went to art class once a week for two hours. On Wednesday, the proof of their improvement hung on the wall.

Even Harley Thompson was happy.

“By the end of the year,” Harley said, “we saw our true talents, what we could really do, instead of drawing like kindergartners.”

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