Mentors, Materials, and Mixing it up

“You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself.” ~ Diana Ross







Dear Friends and Families,

Second graders were moved when artists shared their journals this morning. Mentors described their own work, letting kids know that regardless of one’s age, there’s always something personal to put on the page. IMG_9502IMG_9498Alexis unveiled illustrations of friends she had drawn as a child. Sandy brought books, handmade and filled with poems. Small enough to carry in her pocket, Lizzie’s journal was perfect for spontaneous sketches. Each of these journals was unique – giving children a lens into artists’ lives.

Before kids received their own journals, they had artwork to complete. Animals that pairs had created, including butterflies, snakes, and a coyote, were awaiting finishing touches. With the chance to be adventurous, kids experimented with texture and detail. Check out the fancy fur this beast acquired today!



Take a look at the snake coiled around the plate!

New red journals were on tables for the taking. Page one, About the Artist, presented a genuine challenge. We asked kids to draw self-portraits and write a bit about their lives.

Composing in the third person, one boy wrote, “He is a very good artist. He loves coloring. He loves playing baseball with his brother.”  Others chose different perspectives : “I live in Thomaston, Maine. I have 9 pets – 1 dog, 2 cats, 4 fish, and 2 geckos.”  “I’m eight years old, and my favorite sport is basketball.”  “Well, I am kind of an artist because I have been drawing ever since I was two.”  “I am seven years old, and I love playing outside.”  “My favorite thing to do is art. I am very good at it. My favorite food is carrots.”                               

After each session I read children’s writings and reflect on their art. Then I take a moment to respond to their work. In these first two days, kids have taken monumental LEAPS, learning from mentors and testing new materials. Wrapping up the day in our class meeting, students were our teachers. They told us, “You don’t always have to be perfect,” and “In art you can do just about anything!”


Anticipating future explorations, Nancy, Alexis, Sandy, and Lizzie



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