“Vital lives are about action. You can’t feel warmth unless you create it, can’t feel delight until you play, can’t know serendipity unless you risk.” ~ Joan Erikson
Dear Families and Friends,
Reading How to Heal a Broken Wing got all of us thinking. Fourth graders recognized right away what the book was about – that kids notice what adults sometimes overlook (“They’re on their phones, they’re working, they’re on facebook,”) and how sometimes it takes a child to take action. They related their own stories about saving a bird, about a pigeon that flew into the house from one room to the next until it finally headed out the back door. We heard about a family that saved a seal. They cared for it, fed it, and ultimately released it. After all the stories, one child revealed that when he grows up he wants to be “an animal studier.” It seemed to us that we are already seeing animal researchers in our midst.
Alanna demonstrated how to make a wipe-away print, a challenging art form that requires us to notice the highlights and wipe them away. Kids took to the work and immediately dug in.
Looking through the Plexiglas to their photograph, they covered their plate with ink, using the scumbling method they’d learned from Alexis. Then they observed their photos closely. Finding the areas to “erase” was something they’d never done before and took all their attention. Once they’d made their decisions and they’d put a cotton swab to the glass, they lifted the paper to get their first impression.
Most were surprised at the image they’d created. Laying the “foundation” for their self-portrait was an act of courage.
A metaphor for venturing into the unknown, making art gets kids’ adrenaline pumping. They discover their capacity for going beyond what they’d ever imagined.
Just think. If kids are willing to throw themselves into the printmaking process, what will be next?
Our hope for this next generation is that they will know what is possible – that they will test out their skills, and step into their best selves.
With delight, Nancy, Alanna, Susan, Avis, Dee, and Alexis