Arts Council of Tamworth is excited to announce that the NH Department of Education in Concord is hosting a show of artwork by students from the K. A. Brett School in Tamworth and of needle-felted wool murals created in November 2013 during a community-wide Arts Council of Tamworth residency in “Painting with Wool” with Harrisville, NH fiber artist Marcy Schepker. The show will run through the end of February during NHDOE business hours. The four cheerful, brightly colored murals on view on the ground floor of the NHDOE celebrate the four seasons in rural Northern New Hampshire. They were created collaboratively, with guidance from Schepker, by people of all ages working at several venues, and by every student at the K. A. Brett School. As each group worked on the mural, it had an opportunity to make decisions about colors, content and design. The “Spring” mural, for instance, was begun by a group of kindergartners. After brainstorming many ideas, they decided that the mural should include a large rainbow, and they needle-felted the rainbow into prominence in the piece. Another group decided that sled dog races were important to the local community, another that the winter landscape would depict a winter evening with a moon bright in the sky. Before traveling to Concord, the murals were on display at the Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth. It’s been wonderful to see so many enthusiastic responses to work created by a community working together. One young girl came in and pointed with excitement at the murals. “I helped make that!” she exclaimed. She asked why they were hanging in the library, and when she was told that it was because they were beautiful and people wanted to see them, she puffed up with pride. “That blows my mind,” she said.
Brett School art teacher Melanie McBrian has a wide variety of student work on display on the first and ground floors of the NHDOE: Cityscapes in watercolor, jungle pictures in oil pastel inspired by the work of Henri Rousseau, Cubist-style musicians done in collage, Impressionist gardens, Grant Wood-inspired landscapes in crayon resist, Renaissance-style profile self-portraits in oil pastel, Collagraph Prints, Still Life paintings in complementary colors, examples of En Plein Air paintings done by 3rd graders, mixed media collages of whimsical "shacks" inspired by the work of Beverly Buchanan and large scale comic compositions done in the style of Roy Lichtenstein.
“As a teacher,” McBrian says, “I want my students to experience a wide range of art materials and 'techniques so that they can find their voices, artistically speaking, and express themselves visually. Working in art gives students the opportunity to solve ‘problems’ that have myriad possible ‘answers’. I incorporate art history so they can learn about and begin to understand the progression of art through time. Art has always been used to record and comment on the events in peoples lives.”
Thank you to K. A. Brett Alt. Ed. teacher Bill Arnold and his students for framing the four community murals, to Danny Palmer & Granite State Glass for donating the Plexiglass, to residency sponsors Meadow Pond Animal Hospital and Settlers’ Crossing, to The Gibson/Woodbury Foundation for their generous materials grant, and to the Brett School, The Tamworth Foundation, the Tamworth PTA and the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts. Arts Council of Tamworth is supported in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts. Thank you to NHDOE Arts Consultant Marcia McCaffrey (pictured on the right) for the opportunity to share and celebrate this beautiful work and to Brett art teacher Melanie McBrian (on the left) for hanging the show.
The NHDOE is located at 101 Pleasant Street, Concord. Want to bring Marcy Schepker to your community? Visit marcyschepker.com. Find out more about Arts Council of Tamworth’s community workshops, Choose Your Own Ticket Price performances, teacher workshops and work in the school here.