Looking Out for Kids

“The familiar becomes unfamiliar.” ~ Alexandra Horowitz

Dear Friends of LEAPS,

It’s almost September, and we are thinking about the future. Sunday the LEAPS’ team gathered to begin envisioning art experiences for the children we teach. Re-connecting in person felt remarkably good. Sitting in Rockland’s Central Park, breathing in the sea air, keeping the appropriate distance, we began sharing ideas for a fall we can only imagine.

Since each of us is staying close to home, and kids will surely be staying close to their classrooms, we’ve realized we can help one another see how “the familiar,” the grass we walk on, the stairs we climb, the faces we anticipate, can suddenly be seen anew.

I am reading Alexandra Horowitz’s On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation. Horowitz writes: “By the time we are old enough to walk outside to the sidewalk, we have organized the the perceptual melee into chunks of recognizable objects. After a few years we learn to see the (street) scene without really seeing it at all.”

Susan Beebe showed us this morning, in a piece she wrote for Rockland Buzz, that she not only notices what is around her on her painting expeditions in the woods, she records the exquisite detail she observes in her journal.

“The wall has become magical to me: looking so closely at each rock, the patterns of lichen, ghostly pale green or reddish, the shapes of the moss, all seem to glow. The chinks between give the rocks a lightness – they are solid but perched precariously on points and corners.” *

She’s inspired me to bring my journal when I walk my dogs alongside Aldermere Farm. (Will they stop with me as I listen?) The fascinating sounds of creatures living close by differ from moment to moment. So does the light according to the time of day as summer wanes.

At LEAPS we’re seeing the world from new perspectives and imagining how we can provoke new ways of looking for our learners.

As we prepare for our late fall programming, we want to publicly thank Maine Arts Commission and Maine Community Foundation for their extraordinary generosity. They have made LEAPS in RSU 13  possible during the upcoming school year.

Enjoy the last weeks of the season and stay healthy,

Nancy, for the LEAPS of IMAGINATION Team

Susan Beebe, Alexis Iammarino, Cindy McGuirl, Dee Peppe, Avis Turner

*From Rockland Buzz; Issue 178, 2020, Rockland, Maine


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