They say that every piece of clay is a piece of someone's life. They even say it has its own small voice and sing in it's own way...Hands that shape the earth this way have time to know the cool touch of the sand...They say the clay remembers the hands that made it.
from When Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor
Quote read at the dedication of the pottery stacks on May Day
The spring school schedule is undoubtedly a busy one! In the ten weeks between spring break and fifth grade graduation, we fit in 180 personal projects, required MCA assessments for grades 3 -5, the Village project, music concert, May Day and spring conferences.
This week particularly full of our community. After wrapping up the MCA's on Monday, on Tuesday evening we hosted our annual music concert in the Middle School auditorium. It was a lovely evening of song and music, shared by the children under the guidance and leadership of Olivia. I was so impressed with the creativity and original ideas within the children's performance. The orchestra was wonderful. We've only had the Prairie Creek orchestra for three years, but it is hard to imagine our school program without it. The performance of We Shall Overcome was really quite moving.
From the music concert, our thoughts turned quickly to the May Day event at the end of the week. In addition to the usual logistics and planning, we were considering how to celebrate the culmination of our clay arts' residency with Colleen Riley and Angie. We s ettled on a slideshow in the gym with words of wisdom about the creative process from our two artists. In order to dedicate the pottery stacks at the front of the school, there was also some fairly frantic landscaping and installation action going on. A cold and rainy week didn't really help our preparations! Late Thursday night, Angie and Colleen were still wading through the mud putting the stacks and their concrete bases in place.
Angie is always reminding me that "art takes time." Our residency with Colleen, and the visioning around the art process the children would engage in started months ago. May Day, however, waits for no artist and these two worked so hard to make sure the children's work was up for us to admire on this special community day. Colleen talked to the children this morning about the fact that creating art is hard work. She also impressed upon them the fact that it was also the best work that she could do and how happy she was to be an artist. Colleen also passed on her thanks to the school for its commitment to the arts. Indeed, we should all feel good about keeping the arts at the forefront of our work with children. It takes a commitment by board, faculty and parents to do so. It also takes time!
I think our artists more than anyone deserved the wonderfully sunny and calm weather we treated to today. It was lovely to be able to gather at the front of the school for a dedication ceremony. We then set off on our traditional tour of Castle Rock led by the local sheriff. Our parade incorporated a stop by the bank to serenade our community partners with a chorus of Land of the Silver Birch. Back at school, our fifth graders danced gracefully around the Maypole before the grounds were taken over by folk dancing, soccer and a picnic lunch.
Busy enough? Nope, we still had time for a 2/3 grade personal project fair in the gym.
Sixty personal projects were shared with an audience of peers and parents. Amongst other things, I learned that giraffes are related to cows, the Titanic sank in 1912 and the Chinook
helicopter can hold 55 people. It was a great way to end the fullest of weeks.
We are a collection of very tired children and staff who are immensely grateful to a community of parents who engage with us with such energy and enthusiasm during this most busy of school seasons. Thank you.