Accomplishing the Extraordinary

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” ~ Edmund Hillary, first person to climb Mt. Everest

Dear Families and Friends,

An adventurous spirit takes kids a long way. That’s what fourth graders realized  this morning when they saw their artwork on the walls of the Jonathan Frost Gallery in Rockland.  Having taken the perspectives of Robert Peary, Matthew Henson, and Bernard Langlais during a month-long study, one Thomaston Grammar School student remarked, “An artist is an explorer too!”

Kids shared their thoughts about what it means to be an explorer and told the crowd that others worthy of the title are,”Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Jane Goodall, and the Wright Brothers.” As part of fourth graders’ exploration of the Langlais Sculpture Preserve (a program of Georges River Land Trust) back in January, they’d made their own stamps of tracks they’d seen in the snow. Those stamps became the finishing touches on their monoprint water color paper, topped with an original landmass. Check out their compositions and use of symbols.

DSCF1557Artists Avis Turner, Sarah Rogers, Cindy McGuirl, and Susan Beebe led the discussion at the gallery. Children volunteered one by one to talk about their art and the concept they had in mind when combining materials. “My landmass is about history. I thought if I made my island about history, I could go places in history myself.”

Like Peary, who kept such an accurate journal en route to the Arctic, that eight decades later scientists could verify that he’d actually made it to the North Pole, fourth graders kept their own records of their LEAPS’ experiences. Families and neighbors enjoyed perusing through handmade journals envisioning students’ amazing journeys.

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Probably the most memorable part of the day was seeing the exuberance on the faces of young artists, who described both the processes they’d experienced and the ways in which they’d stretched their imaginations in both art and writing.

There’s no doubt that art invites kids to use their brains in inventive ways. Their success as artists, which they demonstrated at the gallery, translates into the kind of confidence that takes kids far in school – and we anticipate even further in life.


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An enormous thank you to Jonathan Frost and Susan Beebe for welcoming us into their gallery, to teachers Rose Richter and Michelle Ford, and to principal, Ainslee Riley and RSU 13 Board Chair Loren Andrews for taking time to see elementary school students in action.

We hope you’ll let friends and family know that this artwork will be on display through March 26, and that all are invited to stop by on Tuesdays through Saturdays to see it.

In awe of fourth graders’ willingness to go far ~ Nancy, Susan, Cindy, Avis, and SarahIMG_4249.jpg

2 thoughts on “Accomplishing the Extraordinary

  1. Visual art work & creative explorations; observations, ideas & thoughts,… in journals; new learning & reflections,… all came together in this final celebration & exhibit at Frost Gallery. Bravo students & LEAPS.

  2. A powerful morning indeed for LEAPS’ students, artists, and viewers.
    We are so grateful for the support of RSU 13 – our local school district, the Thomaston Grammar School community, and of course, the children for their whole-hearted response to our program!

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