Art in the Garden- Interdisciplinary Event

16 11 2013

One very magical evening that combined some of my most favorite things bundled into one.  I will admit I have some ideas floating in my head of things I would like to achieve in my lifetime.  I love art, music (soft spot for violin and harp), gardening, poetry, parties, and night light.  I also love a challenge.  I often set goals to achieve and I can do them but when I have a challenge I’m not one to put my tail between my legs and run.

When making, designing, and writing plans you have to weigh all the tangible and intangible.  When planning an event you have to plan and have several back up plans.  But reaching for the stars has never been a problem, I may not always get there but I still strive to.

A very beautiful event happened at school and the event helped to bring together so many people, plus open hearts and minds.  We organized a school garden committee three years ago with hopes of having a garden and outdoor classroom.  We linked curricular areas, demonstrated how we would implement the ideas into our courses, etc.  It has been a labor we all love and are super excited about it.

We have a garden and outdoor classroom area but it was hardly used.  So we decided to change that and host an event to draw attention to the space and bring more interest to utilizing the garden space more.  Now, it is November so not much can be planted. So we didn’t do that, instead we covered the flower beds with straw and left a few bales for plinths for ceramic sculptures.  We added seasonal gourds, flowers, and other details.  We added string lights, up lights, and lanterns.  Student’s talents were put on display for the evening.

Art in the Garden (4)

Back up a month or more and start to plan for the ceramic sculptures to be displayed, plan out the lesson, order the supplies, fire the kiln for each piece both bisque fire and glaze fire.  Create a program and organize the teachers and students.  Contact parents and call in favors to make the event go off without a penny spent.  Choose the beverage and food, create the invitations, and who will be invited….so many things before we can even get started.  One might just give up…I still teach five different classes and two active clubs. Oh, I also have Curbside Couture Runway Show not too far behind.  I have presentations to create for classes, art work to grade, display, and upload to Artsonia.

Art in the Garden (1)

I was not going to let this idea go away.  Luckily, I have amazing colleagues who are just as determined as I am.  I also have talented, kind, and helpful students who step up for whatever is asked of them.  So the garden beds started to be set up on the Monday before the event to give time to the other art teachers to set up art pieces. Garden Committee members baked cookies and purchased apple cider.  Additions of lights and other Fall decorations populated the garden space.  The kiln in the studio was working overtime to try to get everything done on time.

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The day of the event the school day ended and my car was loaded with sculptures, cookies, apple cider, and additional decorations.  The art work was placed, musicians prepared, the refreshment table set up, and poetry readers prepped.  All we had left to do was light the lanterns and pass out the programs.  As the light faded from the sky, the white string lights provided a glow in the garden beds, candlelit lanterns lined the pathway, and a circle of benches surrounded our poetry venue.   The up lights danced amber light on the magnolia trees, and cider was heating up on the table.  Harp music filled the air and the parents, administrators, and students arrived.  I watched nervously off to the side with my camera poised to the faces of the people who entered the garden space.  Smiles and looks of awe filled up the garden.  Relief…it was everything I wanted it to be.  Magical, bliss, and celebration.  I hardly felt the cold.

Poetry reading Art in the Garden


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I would do it all again just to see my colleague’s faces, who believed in what I knew we could accomplish.  They giggled with excitement as the lights filled the space; they floated on the moonlight with the reciting of the poetry.  They danced in their minds among the crowds to the sweet harp and then violin music.  They celebrated with the artists as they expressed excitement of seeing their sculpture in the magical garden space.  Wow!  What a night.  I wish I could have one night a week like this night, for every week the rest of my teaching career.

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One response

17 01 2014
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[…] ermined as I am.  I also have talented, kind, and helpful students who step up […]

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