Cushman Celebrates the Arts
Recently, we enjoyed two very special events on campus that reminded us of Cushman’s aim to honor and incorporate the Arts...the appreciations that enrich one’s life, into our program. On Jan. 29th, our Middle School students began their week-long journey in the annual Artists-in-Residence Program. We warmly welcomed past Cushman Middle School art teacher and artist, Christina Painter, and sculptor, Dan Peterson. These professional artists facilitated students in the completion of ‘sculptures’ using materials sourced from our “Living Earth.” Students were engaged in this hands-on process that challenged them to ‘learn to see’, get into the moment and create relationships amongst materials that resulted in creatures (real or mythical) designed using palm fronds, coconuts, rocks, leaves, and other natural, found objects. This intensive exercise required vision, problem solving and an appreciation for the beauty in simple objects found daily in the environment. It’s so impressive to see how their teamwork, critical thinking skills and incredible imagination and creativity resulted in such moving works of art. Their collaborative projects were displayed at Gallery Walk, and boy, was it a “WOW!”
The annual Gallery Walk has become our version of Art Basel in which individual or groups of students’ works of art, representative of our entire student body, are displayed proudly throughout campus and showcased for their peers and families. We enjoyed seeing many of our families touring the exhibits and sharing in the joy in seeing such creativity! While this day was set aside to particularly honor the arts, it was truly a snapshot that visibly reflected the intention and time we place on ensuring the arts becomes an integral part of the Cushman experience. The point of the weaving arts into the curriculum is not just for our aspiring artists, but, rather, it provides students with additional avenues of expression and in communicating varied ways of knowing.
Engaging students in the creative process with the visual and/or performing arts is far more than a fun reprieve from academic rigor; it’s extremely necessary in the development of young minds during the most imaginative and impressionable timeframe in their lives. This exposure serves as an inspiration to embrace the arts as it brings enjoyment and meaning into one’s life.
- Arvi Balseiro