Achieve Academy 2020

Achieve Language academy artist talk.  K- 8 March 5th 

"First off, I want to congratulate the good work all the 3rd graders accomplished on this project.  I also want to give a special thanks to Ms. Videen and Ms Brandt for handing over their classrooms and their guidance for this project.  The design is very intricate, and everyone did a super job, took the time they needed to do good work and accomplished something amazing!

 The artwork is something special.  Our theme reflected on one of your school’s values to have respect.  One of the most important things that come from respect is the friendships that you develop when you care about others well-being.  An important part of a healthy friendship is respect. One way to show respect to friends is by taking their thoughts and feelings seriously.   

 I saw great examples of this in the classroom.  During our time making sketches and thinking about ideas that were important to each of you, I saw that you encouraged each other and were interested in what each of you had to say. 

           Respect was also shown by valuing, and not undermining, your friends' decisions. If your friend had an idea and you didn’t quite agree with their decision, you still respected their choice without being judgmental. You had respect for your friend enough to "agree to disagree" while still keeping your friendship intact.

 Now I would like to explain the art and the choices I made in making the picture.  I would like to suggest that an important part of the art was the conversations that took place in the classroom.  When showing the design, a student noticed that I had misspelled friendship – a common mistake I have made since grade school.  That reminded me that the “I” in friendship comes first.  That when we respect others and make friends it helps us first.  It makes us feel good about ourselves.  Caring about others allows others to more easily care about you.  When you look at the artwork please remember that you carry your “I” (yourself inside of you) and if you find that respect is not coming from others as much as you would like, respecting yourself first is an important step in gaining the respect of others.

One way I wanted to show the importance of this idea is was to use the natural world as an example.  I thought about one of my favorite places on the shores of Lake Superior where majestic maple trees mingle with spectacular old growth Hemlock Pine trees.  Two different plant communities that share the same space and thrive together.  A beautiful diverse landscape. 

I also used color to help show how important this idea is.  How many of you have heard the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?  I decided there was an opportunity to use the colors of fall – the golden leaves as a reminder of this important guide to respecting one another.  I hope you can look at the picture and find ways that it reminds you to be respectful of yourself and others.