Trenton Elementary School student Finn Monahan works on a block printing project during the school’s two-week Handcraft Festival. PHOTO COURTESY OF TRENTON ELEMENTARY

Trenton students to hold art show Friday

Trenton Elementary School student Natalie Gott uses soap to prepare fiber for a fiber arts project during the school’s two-week Handcraft Festival.

TRENTON — Students from Trenton Elementary School will get to show off their artistic creations on Friday, April 29, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the school’s library. All guests are welcome to enter through the building’s gym doors. 

The works are the result of the school’s Handcraft Festival, the first of its kind, where students took part in art programming for two weeks thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation for Belvedere Traditional Crafts, said Trenton Principal Crystal DaGraca.  

While working at the school and with ArtWaves, a community arts center in Bar Harbor, students in grades K-8 engaged with local artists to produce examples of handcrafts, including weaving, printing, carving, paper making, stained glass, working with clay, jewelry making, basket making and fiber arts. 

“It was wonderful to see our students immersed in art for two full weeks! Students were able to collaborate with peers and learn from local artists,” DaGraca said. “We are so grateful for all of the local artists who took the time to work with us. Liz Cutler and Julie Meltzer from ArtWaves truly made this opportunity possible for Trenton students thanks to their planning and coordinating all of the artists. Connie Barnes, Trenton art teacher, was an advocate for this program and oversaw the entire two weeks.” 

While there was an initial concern that students would struggle with focusing on art for two hours per day during the two-week festival, Meltzer said students of all ages remained engaged and calm and teachers enjoyed participating, too. 

“At ArtWaves, we believe in the power of art – to build community, to support mental health, to heal, to center, to communicate and to develop confidence, skills and appreciation,” Meltzer said. “In our experience, when people make art together, they are happy!” 

Rebecca Alley

Rebecca Alley

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Rebecca is the Schoodic-area reporter and covers the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and Trenton. She lives in Ellsworth with her husband and baby boy who was joyously welcomed in June 2020. Feel free to send tips and story ideas to [email protected]

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