Buckeye Valley East Elementary School third-grade students have been working with artist Kate Gorman to create a quilt that represents their local community.
Gorman has been working with the students through the school’s artist-in-residency program.
“We’ve done residencies for nearly 20 years now,” said art teacher Robin Clay. Over the past 20 years, these residencies have included various forms of art, including dance, music, paper-making and photography. “We engage [the students] in the creative process involved with a professional artist,” Clay said.
This year, the artist-in-residency program has focused particularly on the third-grade students because their curriculum involves learning about their local community and the quilt that they are creating reflects this community. “I think this is a special piece because it’s curriculum-based,” said Clay.
Although the project has been focused on the third grade, the rest of the school’s students have not been left out. They have worked together to create additional quilts. All of the quilts will be displayed together at the local library.
Gorman said that she enjoys the chance to work with the students on the quilts. “I like seeing the whole thing come together,” she said of creating the quilts with the students. “They take this leap of faith and don’t really know what they’re doing. … At a certain moment, the magic happens and they start to see what they’ve created.”