Imagining a New Reality

    images  You can fly like a bird and leap with frogs. With your imagination you can do anything you want.” ~  Second Grader, LEAPS of IMAGINATION

Dear Friends of LEAPS,

Have you ever considered which animal you would become if you could use your imagination to transform yourself?  For LEAPS’ kids that process is second nature. Children have morphed into the likes of barred owls, wolves, chipmunks, and porcupines; moose, snakes, cottontails, and foxes.







Whatever form of wildlife they study, from creatures that fly or crawl, leap or climb, live locally or far off, kids dig into the experience. Starting with observational drawings, they examine objects from nature, trying out special lenses. Local artifacts present opportunities to focus on detail.

From real to the imagined….

While LEAPS provides the mediums, kids have the liberty to “mess about” with shapes and composition. Over time young printmakers piece together work that amazes everyone.















Looking back on 2019-2020 we are still celebrating Thomaston Grammar School’s original class forest. Applying what they’d discovered about texture and pattern, young artists made fanciful tree prints. Photographic references inspired images of animals in a re-imagined forest.

Here is Isabelle’s and Nora’s account of how the forest emerged.


Elliot Eisner (1933-2014 / Stanford University) wrote,

“The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem-solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.”

In these extraordinary times, how might art help you to re-imagine the world? Gather some materials. Dabble, experiment, and compose. As a young artist reminded me, “With your imagination you can do anything you want!”

Nancy, for the LEAPS of IMAGINATION Team

July 2020

Animals in the forest by Mrs. Bassett’s second graders; Thomaston Grammar School; Winter 2020


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