A Festival of Student Art

Edible Dinosaur Art - click for larger imageLast week my family, along with many others in Northfield, happily participated in an array of student art events. On Thursday evening, Sibley Elementary School, where my son is in kindergarten, presented an celebration of arts and literacy. Student art filled the hallways, and participants could make bookmarks or books, listen to stories in a tent at "Camp Caldecott" (staged in the darkened gym, where shadows of tree branches were silhouetted against the wall), or attend a poetry reading. Pizza in the cafeteria was also popular; a second order from Domino's was required to meet the demand of hungry kids and parents.

On Friday night, the popular annual Arts a la Carte event took place at the high school. Honors Art students displayed and discussed their work, a viewer-judged student art show was on display in the media center, and entries in the Edible Art contest were on view in the upper cafeteria (see photo for one fine example). Magicians, musicians and dancers performed in the lower cafeteria. Visitors could also get their faces painted by a number of student artists, including my 11th grade daughter, and many flocked to the fish printing studio. "Fish printing," you ask? Yes, indeed, fish printing. For a $5 donation, one could paint a genuine dead fish to one's heart's content; a student assistant then carefully pressed the decorated fish against a new white t-shirt, leaving, well, a fish print! My son wore his proudly on Sunday, after we set the colors by briefly baking the shirt in the oven in accordance with the directions supplied with the shirt. The odor lingers a bit, since we have not yet washed the shirt, but that of course is part of the charm.

On Saturday, the Northfield Arts Guild presented Imagination Celebration, its official day-long reception for the all-school art exhibit now on view. Parents flocked to the gallery to see their children's artwork, and students added to the festive feel with performances, musical and otherwise, throughout the day. My 7th-grade daughter played a Bach concerto on violin!