We have had a very busy Fall in the Folk Arts Program!
Hindman Settlement School, along with partner schools, hosted six artist residencies for elementary and middle school students. These residencies covered the genres of Chinese dance, ceramics, watercolor, mural, Cherokee studies, and drama. It took a heap of detail work from me and the staff to put this together – scheduling, transportation, meals, housing, financing, but we put together some great opportunities for our students to explore and learn. Some photos and details of the projects are below. (Click any photo to make them larger!)
Local mural artist Lacy Hale worked with Carr Creek Elementary to design and install a mural of a Cherokee chief to pay homage to the school’s athletics mascot. This was a real piece of art that gave dignity to the region’s Cherokee roots.
Randy Shepherd put together a Cherokee camp with a hut, deer tanning, flint knapping, corn grinding, and more at Cordia School.
Renowned Kentucky watercolor artist Pat Banks worked with Emmalena students on Kentucky wildlife paintings.
Karen Dieruf assisted primary students from Jones Fork Elementary produce their own original play.
Jessica Evans, a ceramic artist from the Appalachian Artisan Center, worked with Hindman Elementary students to make Halloween-inspired pinch pots.
Hong Shao did Chinese dance with Beaver Elementary students, complete with Chinese costumes, fans, and rhythm instruments. Ms. Shao, a master of the ancient Chinese lute instrument called the Pipa, performed a concert for students and the community at large.
The Folk Arts Program also hosted international students from Tibet, Algeria, the Congo, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Kyrgistan. These students visited local classrooms with presentations about their home countries and followed up with a question and answer session with students.
These residencies and events are things we can build upon to develop a program of excellence in the the schools. Local teachers and administrators value this work and students are forever enriched by these experiences.