Last year a few of us were complaining about how terribly barren the school lunchroom was. White cinder block walls were the backdrop to photographs of past 5th and 6th grade classes with framed rules of the lunchroom interspersed. It was dismal. Really, there is no other way to put it. It was not a room of joy, there was nothing conducive to conversation. It was simply a utilitarian space.
My friend Mary Beth is an artist who sees everything as a blank canvas. She painted a chicken on her pantry door. She's painted murals all over town. When her son started at Caroline Elementary, she started pestering the principal about getting art on the walls. She was dismissed. Not one to back down, she kept at it and when a new principal moved in he told her to go for it. The wheels of bureaucracy move slowly with lots of obstacles to work around, but eventually Boris from "My Father's Dragon" welcomed kindergarten students to their classrooms. Success emboldened her. Important historical landmarks in New York were painted in the upper grades' wing. Favorite storybook characters greet library visitors at the door. Slowly, with the help of teachers, parents, administrators, and STUDENTS, she has transformed the school into a place where art lives. The lunchroom was a natural next space ripe for change. Mary Beth and the art teacher, her partner in these endeavors, created a vision around a theme:
Farm to Table, fitting for our rural setting and the agricultural heritage.
The blast of color is a welcome reprieve from the long winter.
Meanwhile, here at the MiMBY House, we've been doing our part playing with color. The knitting circle crew has taken up needle felting with a vengeance. I realized quickly that my natural fleece shades weren't going to allow for full creative expression, so I bought some pure white fiber from my friend Erika who has Finns. First, we tried using food coloring, but the colors were too pale. This week we used Easter egg dye tablets.
You can see in the following projects how essential color is. Lucia was inspired by fried eggs when she started this, but as she peeled it off the foam she exclaimed, "It looks like a flower." She proceeded to do a little shaping and a flower brooch emerged.
Helena created a lovely flying bird, and not willing to stop there, a baby bird, a nest, and the branch the nests rests upon.
What are you working on now that hints of spring are emerging?