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!”