Students from three different school districts who take part in an after school program, Schuylkill Achieve, visited the Walk In Art Center on Saturday, October 8 to for a field trip to learn about Schuylkill County's rich folk art traditions. Chris Beckfield who organized the field trip explained that Schuylkill Achieve is a free program that offers students homework help, hands on academic activities, special events and more. The Folk Art Around the Town is one of the events that the students were invited to attend.
Students completed four different art projects led by Walk In Art Center artists and were assisted by the districts' teachers, also present for the morning.
"It's great to see how enthusiastic the students are about the projects," said Julie Richards. "The talent level of these young artists is amazing and I'm happy to be a part of this program."
The projects included Lenape Wampum Belts (Caroline Gavalis and Haley) , German Fraktur (Jordan Fees), Polish Painted Wedding Trunks (Julie Richards) and Pysanky Eggs (Georgine Borchick and Lisa Borchick). The artists began each session with an explanation of the folk art's history and then showed the students how to create the folk art project themselves. Donna Egan, Walk In Art Center artist selected the projects and prepared the lesson plans. A morning snack and lunch was provided thanks to local businesses.
"The students express themselves individually by creating the projects but learn about the history of the art," said Miss Herring, teacher at North Schuylkill School District. "The social interaction with other school districts this art field trip offers is also very special."Two projects from each station were selected by the teaching artists to be displayed during The Walk In Art Center's Safe Trick or Treat & Vendor Show October 12 from 6pm - 8pm.
"My favorite project was the Pysanky Eggs," said Jenna, a North Schuylkill student. "It was really cool because people don't realize how far our history goes back and it's fun learning all about it."
Folk Art Around the Town is made possible through grant funding by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and donations by Guers Dairy, Hess Catering, Plain & Fancy Donut Shop and Roma Pizza.