Vibrant landscape banners inspired by Methow Valley scenes will provide color at the Phoenix Festival. Painted by fourth grade students at Methow Valley Elementary School, the banners celebrate the rich and varied landscape surrounding us.
Working with Winthrop artist and art teacher Deirdre Cassidy, the students first examined images of Methow Valley landscapes. Cassidy brought in dozens of images of the Methow Valley—some her own paintings, others photographs—and had students examine the landscapes, which ranged from snowy aspen groves to country roads to flower-strewn meadows to distant peaks. Working in pairs, students then brainstormed the types of things they might see in a Methow Valley scene and sketched outlines of landscapes and transferred these outlines to fabric banners.
Phase two involved paint. Kneeling on tarps on the art room floor, students mixed acrylic paints with water to create a liquid color with a consistency that spread well on the sheets (generously donated by the Twisp River Suites, the Mt. Gardner Inn, and the River Run Inn) that served as their canvases. As mountains, rivers, and trees took shape, the banners began to sing with color and form.
The experience taught students what components make up a landscape, how atmosphere perspective is achieved in painting, and how to mix colors for a fabric painting. They also learned some teamwork. Says fourth grade teacher Tiffany Surface, “Along with the art experience, my students were really using their cooperative learning strategies as they came together on their projects. It was awesome to watch them work together in that setting.”
The banners will be displayed at the Phoenix Festival, which is an arts-inspired fire relief benefit to be held on October 18th from 2pm-10pm at TwispWorks. The public is invited to attend the festival and view the banners, as well as to enjoy the festival’s music and art and to contribute to fire relief funds. All profits from the festival will go to the Long Term Recovery Organization.
This hands-on art 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. Project sponsors include the Public School Funding Alliance, the Methow Valley Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, the Methow Valley School District, the National Endowment for the Arts, and ArtsWA.