Snowy Forest

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Jack’s teachers at the 14th Street School do a wonderful job of proudly displaying the children’s art work in the classroom and all throughout the school. Visiting and admiring the work on display is always a treat, though we invariably know that there are going to be some goodies we don’t get to see right away. Knowing that he will be bringing home every single piece of work he has produced throughout the past ten months, we get excited at the prospect of seeing what he has created. Jack just graduated from second grade, and here’s one of his latest masterpieces framed and hung in the dining room (otherwise known as Jack’s Gallery)… “Snowy Forest” is the title 🙂

Displaying your art…

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…is something we all should do. I still have those old photograph albums with the sticky sheets that use some sort of goo to hold maybe two 4 x 6 photographs per page, or the hardcover albums with the plastic sleeves and clunky ring binders that want to nip your fingers every time you open or close them. Thankfully advances in technology mean that exhibiting your art no longer means risking the loss of a finger – whether you want to display your work online in a slideshow, on the wall in a high-quality print, or even in a self-published coffee table type book. I have used all of these formats, and it never gets old seeing something you are proud of on display. In fact, I’m expecting a couple of my favorite photographs back from the printer any day… can’t wait to see how they look!

Home-made or school-made, we encourage and eagerly anticipate Jack’s artistic new releases, and it’s always fun to ask him to share some insight about what he makes. His imagination can run wild, and the stories he tells can be priceless. Like most homes, our kitchen refrigerator has its fair share of kid art pinned to it, but we also have quite a few pieces framed and proudly on display throughout the house. Jack doesn’t seem to mind that we exhibit his creations so proudly, and as along as he keeps making, we’ll keep displaying! Ladies and gentlemen… I give you “Shark in the Caribbean” – the latest piece by renowned and soon-to-be-famous abstract painter, Jack Robert Patterson.

Jack art

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This year’s Bangor School Department Art Exhibit can once again be found in the Bangor Mall. This is the second year in a row Jack has had a piece of his art selected to be displayed, and he was of course very proud to show us his masterpiece. We are very fortunate that there is such an emphasis on the arts in Jack’s school… I firmly believe that the arts are integral to a quality education. As always, the quality of work on display from across the entire school department was excellent, and I was excited to see Jack taking it all in.

The Little Artist

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We visited Jack’s school last week for the annual “Look What I Did” evening of show and tell. Student work was displayed on just about every wall in the building, and the halls were filled with kids proudly showing their friends and family some of what they had created in school these past few months.

Jack enjoyed showing Lori, Sam and I all of the items on display that were his, but when it came to the centerpiece display wrapped around his classroom door, we couldn’t seem to find his artwork of a fairy tale castle. All of the other kids’ work was there, but Jack’s was nowhere to be seen. We figured it had somehow got misplaced, and after giving us a pretty detailed description of what it would have looked like, Jack didn’t seem to mind too much that his wasn’t there to see.

The next day though, we got a note from school announcing that his castle had been chosen for display in the School Department art show in the local mall! There was some excellent work on display from all of the schools across the system, and our little artist was very proud to bring us there and show us his work. He enthusiastically shared all of the little stories behind each of the elements of his picture, and we could not have been more proud!

The artist

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I was just reading an article on CNN about Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk on how schools kill creativity, and it got me thinking about Jack as he starts out on his school career. I remember watching the TED talk when it was first published, and at the time it absolutely resonated with me. It was one of those moments where someone had very articulately expressed much of what I already believed, but would never have been able to put into words. I forwarded the link for the video to everyone I knew, encouraging them to “see the light” as I had. Not sure if it had as much impact with others as it did for me, but at least I tried.

I purchased and devoured Sir Ken’s book “The Element – How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” as soon as it was made available. His words, thoughts, and ideas about how traditional schooling (and life in general) sometimes get in the way of enjoying fulfilling and meaningful activities struck me as being so obvious. Everyone should have their “thing” that they do… and if you don’t yet know what it is… find your thing and dive deep into it.

Jack has been very fortunate in his “academic” career to date, first as part of a wonderfully imaginative Montessori classroom setting, and now in kindergarten he is part of a sweet, creative, and caring public school environment. I hope that he is always encouraged to be creative in expressing himself, and that the ability to tell his story in different ways is forever nurtured.

Who knows… maybe painting will be his “thing” 🙂

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