The Third Street Gallery features the artwork of Shanti Norman's Moscow Middle School art students in Connections, an exhibition available online from June 12 - August 28.
In the online gallery, viewers will see the works of Moscow Middle School artists in grades 6 - 8. During each week of the Spring 2020 soft closure, when students were learning from home, they addressed a creative prompt centered around the theme of connection. The prompts included connections to inner self, the body, family, friends, surroundings, nature, and community. Creating this exhibition required them to connect with artmaking, but also to photography practices needed to display their works in a world that has suddenly shifted to digital exhibitions.
"Despite the craziness of the distant teaching experience," says Norman, "I gained something invaluable that I have been unsuccessfully attempting to do for years with my middle school art students. I was forced to let go of control of the curriculum and let students take ownership of their creativity and learning. Instead of focusing on teaching artistic skills, students were given the opportunity to explore the theme of 'connection' through their work. The world was suddenly disconnected from life as we knew it. I wanted to provide students the space to lean in and fully feel, process, and share their experience through their art. Seeing the emotional honesty in the artwork of these students reminded and reassured me of the essentiality of creative expression to growth and development and how art innately speaks to the collective human experience. Young people are truth-seekers. They have the insight and ability to see what might be overlooked by adults who can be easily blinded by bias. I appreciate the honesty and vulnerability these young people have gifted to us through their willingness to seek and explore their place in the world during this time of social unrest. They give me hope."
To view Connections, visit: https://moscowarts.submittable.com/gallery/28ee7719-ad89-4ff3-bc74-aa3e68265e8f.
The mission of the Moscow Arts Commission is to enrich the community by celebrating and cultivating the expression of all art forms and culture.
Click the image below to view other works in the collection.