In October 2013, the Mendon-Upton Educational Foundation granted $1000 to the art departments of Miscoe Hill School and Nipmuc High School. Rather than dividing the money and going our separate ways, we decided to collaborate on a project – a multi-grade collaborative art installation. Because our discipline is primarily consumables oriented, we wanted to make sure the collaboration resulted in something physical to take away. Both schools host annual art shows for which, it seems, display units are always needed. With that in mind, we decided to work together to build display units from scratch. We enlisted the help of Miscoe Hill maintenance man, Dick Gentili, and staged a build event on February 26, 2014.
The Miscoe Hill Art Clubs, under the direction of Alice Gentili and Jon Hansen, met after school and worked with Mr. Gentili and Nipmuc art teacher, Kevin Campbell, to build display units. Mr. Gentili had pre-cut all the pieces of wood, we spent our time assembling the display units and attaching them with brackets.
At the end of the “build” session, we had made four display units for each school. Six of the units had walls of Homasote, 2 of them had chicken wire walls. Mr. Gentili made carts with wheels, which hold four units on each cart.
On the morning of April 29, sixteen art students from Nipmuc High School arrived at Miscoe Hill School bringing with them the piles of recyclables that both schools had been collecting for months. And this day of creativity, communication, and collaboration was underway!
The display units were positioned according to the shared vision created by the high school students. The theme of the installation was “Surrealistic Garden”. The task was to fill the space in such a way that the theme was realized and the space was transformed. The challenge was to collaborate to realize the shared vision.
And after just one day of working together – our school, our gym, our day, and our spirits had been TRANSFORMED BY ART!
To see the photos, video, and post on Storehouse.com, go to: www.storehouse.co/stories/j7og-transformed-by-art
To see the video of the finished installation, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs5L-2xlWNo
We are grateful to the Mendon-Upton Educational Foundation for funding this collaborative and creative experience for our students!