2014-01-24 / Front Page

Students show their art at Atria

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer


Students from School Around Us in Arundel hosted an art show Sunday, Jan. 19 at Atria Senior Living in Kennebunk. From left are Wyatt Laprise, Linnea Ritchie, Ridley Laprise, Gina Romagnoli and Lilyana Poupore-Drummey. “An Artistic Affair” is the first public art show for School Around Us students. 
(Courtesy photo) Students from School Around Us in Arundel hosted an art show Sunday, Jan. 19 at Atria Senior Living in Kennebunk. From left are Wyatt Laprise, Linnea Ritchie, Ridley Laprise, Gina Romagnoli and Lilyana Poupore-Drummey. “An Artistic Affair” is the first public art show for School Around Us students. (Courtesy photo) KENNEBUNK — Students ages 6 to 13 from School Around Us held a public art show titled “An Artistic Affair” at Atria Senior Living on Sunday, Jan. 19. Available for sale, many of the students’ pieces included acrylic on canvas paintings, knitted items, watercolor paintings, whittled wood and postcards.

Located in Arundel, School Around Us is a parent-run alternative school for elementary and middle school-aged children. School Around Us focuses on a holistic education; a predominant goal of the teachers is to teach students how to maintain a well-balanced outlook on themselves and the world.

In addition to basic school subjects, students are given more freedom to choose activities that interest them. So-called choice days, offer students two to three class options in the morning and two to three in the afternoon, said teacher Sally Ritchie.

Activities for choice days include bread making, creative writing, pottery and glazing, planting in the green house, digital photography and various forms of artistic expression.

The pieces at “An Artistic Affair” were completed inside and outside of the classroom, said Ritchie. “This is the first time we’re doing this for the public and our first time at Atria,” Ritchie said. “We were both looking for community outreach, so it really worked for both of us.”

“Bridging that generational gap is important,” Ritchie said. “We want the kids to be comfortable with all ages.”

Residents of Atria, after walking around to view each piece, sat in the common room and listened to a guest piano player.

Eli Evans, 10, sold two paintings: one drip painting and an acrylic on canvas painting of a tree with a sun behind it. When asked how he learned what drip painting was, Evans said he didn’t really, the idea just came to him.

“I just thought I would try it (drip painting). It only took me about 30 to 40 minutes to paint both,” said Evans, who completed both of his paintings during his personal time.

Many of the pieces were significant accomplishments for children—symmetrical watercolor portraits, ethereal photographs of leaves and trees, and one needle-felting.

“The children took great pride in getting their artwork ‘gallery ready’ and displaying it for the public and their own families,” Ritchie said. Through the art show, the children learned about art appreciation first hand, and it will continue to inspire them to pursue their artistic sides.”

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