I have worked in classrooms at all levels – facilitating projects, and mentoring and coaching teachers and artists to create meaningful arts activity across the curriculum. Collaborative artworks produced with students are currently installed in several public schools in Saint Paul, in the Open Book Literary Arts Center in Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Children’s Museum in Saint Paul.
One example of this work with children is Textile Rivers: An Artful Look at Great Rivers of the World. Supported with funding from Forecast Public Art, I facilitated elementary and middle school workshops in four classrooms. Each class collaboratively produced a beautiful textile based on environmental and artistic research the children conducted of the Nile, Amazon, Yangtze, and Gambian Rivers.
Earnest, focused students, supported by engaged teachers and parents, researched the wildlife, music and geography of a specific river environment, along with traditional textiles from the region. This research informed design decisions and fueled interest. The finished works were used in public performances at EcoArts Fest, a citywide celebration of the Mississippi River, and are now permanently displayed in each of the schools.