, Derry, New Hampshire


October 10, 2013

Londonderry school enjoys nature lessons

Artist-in-residence widens students' world

LONDONDERRY — They are making their garden grow and learning all about art in the process.

Students at South Elementary School are enjoying lessons in nature under the guidance of visiting artist-in-resident Cynthia Robinson.

The Moultonborough-based artist has been at South School for several weeks, teaching all grade levels about nature and the art they can find there.

The school’s outdoor garden courtyard served as a natural classroom while Robinson led the lessons, including how to find space and shapes in the natural landscape and how to create a window of greenery, flowers and other outdoor assers.

Robinson’s visit was made possible partially through a New Hampshire State Council for the Arts grant and through other South School fundraising efforts, including the school’s “Art to Remember” program where parents can purchase items bearing their child’s artwork.

South Elementary art teacher Marcia Connors said having Robinson at the school has been good for engaging students in the art of nature in the garden.

“The kids just love to be out here,” Connors said.

One morning last week, Robinson was teaching students about space, value and how shapes of all types can be found outdoors.

Students then wandered on their own or in groups to search out garden space to create a drawing.

“When I come out here, it lets my mind wander,” 10-year-old Jesse Baldwin said. “It makes me feel good and free.”

The fifth-grader sat quietly with his sketchbook, studying a nearby perennial and an autumn pumpkin display arranged nearby.

His classmates scattered among the garden area, some near a far wall, others standing along a pond complete with fish and turtles.

Emma Strangman, 10, was interested in the pond for her sketching exercise.

“I love the fresh air, the plants and the fish,” she said.

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