Methow Valley fifth graders examined the fish, flora, and fauna of the Methow River watershed through the lens of artists by designing and carving images on linoleum blocks. In this interdisciplinary unit students first learned about the creatures that inhabit the riparian zone, forested areas, and other ecosystems of the Methow Valley in a workshop in their classrooms with a local naturalist, Dana Visalli. They then sketched images and learned how to carve blocks and print them with local teaching artists, Laura Gunnip of Door No. 3 and Emily Post.
The blockprints were created through an interdisciplinary unit offered annually to fifth graders in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week and with sponsorship from the Methow Valley Ranger District. The block prints feature the fish, birds, mammals, and habitat of the Methow Valley.
There are many outstanding examples of block prints from the last 15 years. Many are featured in a free calendar, Living With the Methow River, produced by the Methow Resource Council through a collaboration with Methow Arts Alliance.
This residency was brought to students by Methow Arts’ Okanogan Region Arts Education Partnership. The partnership serves more than 5,200 students and 370 teachers across Okanogan County with arts programs in classrooms in the Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, Bridgeport, Pateros, and Methow School Districts, and in the Paschal Sherman Indian School. Residency sponsors in the Methow Valley include the Methow Valley Ranger District, the Public School Funding Alliance, ArtsWA, and the Methow Valley Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington.
The Fishing Day project is a collaboration among Big R, Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, Dick Hill Tackle Shop, Friends of Northwest Hatcheries, Methow Arts Alliance, Methow Conservancy, Methow Recycles, Methow Restoration Council, Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, Methow Valley Fly Fishers, Methow Valley School District, National Endowment for the Arts, Okanogan Conservation District, Okanogan- Wenatchee National Forest, Trout Unlimited, Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Arts Commission, Washington State Parks, Wild Fish Conservancy, and Yakama Nation.