Waldo County kids learn art by being art

Feb 10, 2019
Winslow Homer’s “Crossing the Pasture” is among the Maine master’s paintings to serve as templates for The Game Loft’s new I Am Art program.

Belfast — The Game Loft is working to expose middle school students participating in its I Know ME program to the world of fine art in Maine through a new experiential art program, I Am Art.

The program encourages youth to learn art by becoming art as they recreate selected Winslow Homer paintings through creative and professional photo shoots, said Game Loft Executive Director Patricia Estabrook. The program, which recently received additional grant support from the Maine Community Foundation, has already begun.

So far, photographer Tom Foster worked on location with two groups of kids at Yori Farm in Brooks; and Birch Point State Park in Owls Heads. The goal was to modernize Homer’s original works “Crossing the Pasture” and “Watching the Ships.”

Young people participating in the program make decisions about which paintings they wish to portray and how to use contemporary props and clothing in their recreations. In addition to acting as models for the photographs, the kids participate in discussion groups and write journal entries about the paintings, their possible meanings and their personal experiences during the project.

“The program’s purpose is to enrich students’ understanding of Winslow Homer and his contribution to the culture of Maine. Homer was selected for his accessibility, his Maine themes and his use of subjects similar in age to participating youth,” said Estabrook.

The participants also will have the opportunity to visit the artist’s studio and gallery in Prout’s Neck, where they will get to experience the artist’s original works firsthand after finalizing their own recreations.

The I Am Art project will culminate with an exhibition of the young artists’ works during Belfast’s Friday Art Walks in the fall of 2019. All About Games will be open to showcase the photography and allow youth to interact with the greater public during these popular open gallery events.

The Game Loft’s I Know ME program engages kids with Maine’s history, geography, economics, people, promise and challenges, while instilling within them a strong sense of self and place. Programming focuses on field trips, educational enrichment, helping kids become comfortable with themselves and others, games, conversation, decision making and travel. The program serves cohorts of 10 youth enrolled in the Mount View School system for six years beginning in seventh grade. I Know ME is made possible by generous grant funding by the Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation. For more information, contact The Game Loft at 338-6447 or info@thegameloft.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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