LEAPS // SELF+PLACE IN ART

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“It is a combination of characteristics that makes a place special and unique. Sense of place involves the human experience in a landscape, the local knowledge and folklore. Sense of place also grows from identifying oneself in relation to a particular piece of land on the surface of planet Earth.” ~ The Art of Geography

Dear Families and Friends,

On their last day of LEAPS, kids put their best foot forward. They’d taken a journey from exploring self to considering place. One child wrote, when asked, “What do you love most about living on the coast of Maine?” “That I can look at the sun when it is rising near the ocean,” while another replied, “The harbor and the cool ocean breeze.”

We believe that through the exploration of mediums and printmaking, children now have a clear sense of who they are as artists and their immense capacities to create. Knowing that this was their last day to “Take the LEAP,” kids invented bold color combinations, took a stab at innovative brush strokes, and added multi-colored borders to their work. There was no stopping them!

There were two new activity experiences available. A map tracing station was a major attraction. One boy proudly announced that he’d done 31 tracings, ultimately transforming a black line map of the USA into a monotype. A girl who’d started with South America, shifted her print, which became a unique landscape. A small group gathered to create their own variation of Jerry Gretzinger’s maps. From the initial concept of grouping photos of their collagraphs, another idea emerged. Nancy had photographed and enlarged map drawings from student journals. They could examine the colors and forms, arrange them by category, and connect them the way Jerry did. Although it took some negotiating to reach consensus, the collective result was worth it!

We ended the day by reviewing portfolios with students selecting the art they wanted to see on the gallery walls on February 26. Choices were difficult but pride and a sense of accomplishment were evident as we wrapped up the final moments of our four weeks.

We want to say a special thank you to teachers Michelle Ford and Rose Richter, who opened their classrooms to us and participated wholeheartedly from beginning to end. All the artists remarked that they would miss this exuberant group of children, who made history by engaging in LEAPS for their second time.

We’ll see you all at 1:00 PM at Jonathan Frost Gallery on 2/26. We anticipate a remarkable reunion!

Sincerely, Nancy, Alexis, Sarah, Susan, and Lizzie

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