A colorful, three-dimensional work of art by Springs School first-graders featuring characters such as a crescent moon, a butterfly and a miniature disco ball will be one of the first things that visitors to Springs School’s sixth annual Celebration of the Arts at Ashawagh Hall will see before they enter the venue.
Buttons, beads, shells and driftwood were just some of the ingredients that the first-graders used to create the piece, a hybrid between a collage and a structure that will be hanging just outside the door to Ashawagh Hall, said local artist Sara Faulkner and parent Sema Mendelman. It belongs a group of student artwork spanning all grade levels that will fill the room this week for the Celebration of the Arts show on Tuesday from noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The opening reception was slated for yesterday, on Tuesday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“There’s not a piece of wall or space that is empty,” said Irena Grant, a visiting artist who was helping to set up Ashawagh Hall on Monday. “I mean, literally … This space is covered. There is so much artwork. It is amazing.”
Initiatives like the Visiting Artists Program are part of the fabric of the school’s identity.
“In all my years of experience as an elementary principal and superintendent, Springs is unique in that the arts means so much to the community,” said School Superintendent Dominic Mucci. “It’s certainly a part of the culture here. And it’s an important part of the culture that I hope stays.”
The show, which takes place every year, is organized by Springs School art teacher Colleen McGowan, with help from fellow Springs School art teacher Sue Ellen O’Connor, parents and local artists, who work with the students over the year to create the pieces through the school’s Visiting Artists Program. This year, nine local artists, such as Ms. Faulkner, have worked with about 650 students whose work will be featured in the show.
The show is free and open to the public. It will display a variety of different art, including paintings, wooden-spoon puppets fashioned by kindergartners, and a photograph collage of family members by fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders.
The show is the product of the Visiting Artists Program, a unique program because it helps keep local arts alive in Springs while exposing Springs School students to a new world, said Ms. McGowan. Also, the local artists take on an air of celebrity among the students, who feel like they’re working with someone famous, she said.
“We really feel strongly about continuing to support local artists and enrich our students with the opportunity for local artists to come into the classroom to share their world, their style of work,” Ms. McGowan said.