“LEAPS of IMAGINATION is important for kids because it teaches us to work hard, to appreciate what we have, and to appreciate the trees and the world.” ~ Fourth Grade LEAPS’ student, Thomaston Grammar School
Dear Families and Friends,
This was a morning to remember for young artists and their guests at the Jonathan Frost Gallery in Rockland. One of the first things kids noticed when they got off the bus was the collage of trees they’d designed back in the classroom. Now linked together by their roots and branches, these art forms affirm that trees, “can communicate with one another.” Kids had a lot to say about their own shared experiences. “It’s fun to work with friends.” “It inspires me!” “Other people have very good ideas.” “It goes faster.” “I do not have to do everything!” “We have different ideas.” “I got to know the people better.”
There is so much to see in this student exhibition, including collaborative maps fourth graders made at Wheeler Bay. Observing the old quarry from on high, they took the perspective of a bird in flight. Notice the cracks in the ice on their drawings. The wire going across the water. The island and the trees in plentiful numbers.
Excited to share their journals and collagraphs, kids explained the intricacies of the printing process. Starting with large shapes, they realized that using smaller elements helped emphasize texture. Children explained that they’d used a light table to align elements and that their portraits came alive when they added their features.
Never doubt a 9 or 10 year old’s ability to understand a complex idea. Thomaston’s fourth graders got the connections, and they’re certain that humans can impact the life of trees. One child wrote that reading about Kenya’s Wangari Maathai taught him that. “I could convince other people to help nature.” Another wrote, “I can save trees.”
This program has been a learning experience for all. LEAPS’ artists wanted kids to examine elements in trees and use their imaginations to design their own. “The details in art are very cool and realistic!” one student wrote. We thought that if kids comprehended that nature is at risk, they’d want to help. This group has rallied!
We thank moms, dads, relatives, and friends for coming today and encourage you to come see the show if you couldn’t make it.
The art will be on display at Jonathan Frost Gallery through the first week in March on Tuesdays through Saturdays.
In awe of both children and LEAPS’ team of mentor artists, Nancy