Thursday, April 14, 2011

Visiting Artist

This week, I have the extreme honor of being a visiting artist for grades 5 through 8 at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC. This is my first residency at a school. I know I've nothing to compare this experience to..... but,  I can honestly say they have set the bar very high.  Wow! The red carpet is out :)

Alice Ballard,  a ceramic phenom, is the head of the art department at CCES middle school.  We met while she was a visiting artist at Spring Island. I was immediately drawn to her work.... it's richly organic and I knew that our love of the natural world would somehow link us together. 

We talked about our individual methods of journal keeping and she asked if I'd ever considered being a visiting artist at schools.  That thought had been playing around in my mind for quite some time.  You know, I am always amazed at how a twinkling of an idea plays itself out and comes to fruition. You never know who will cross your path and the effect they may have on your future, or you on theirs.

I expressed my interest to Alice.  She shared that the school she teaches at has had many visiting artists come work with the children.  "Who would I contact, I ask?" "That would be me, she said."  After a proposal, approval and months of planning, here I am.

Alice has created an excellent program for the middle school. She and Brent Roberts have tapped the creative juices of their students. I am amazed by the talent these kids are putting forth. In a time when the Arts are being cut from so many budgets, I applaud CCES for their determination to provide their students with a balanced, well rounded and meaningful education.

It's been a whirlwind.  The energy level needed is a new experience for me. After my first full day of classes, she who never naps was out!!

This is the school's garden. I told you I've been spoiled!!

I can't wait to tell you about my lodgings!  Yes, definitely spoiled rotten :)