At this time of year, Willow families typically gather to celebrate Spring Arts Night. Traditionally, Willow’s Spring Arts Night is an opportunity to feel the creative energy that students have drawn upon throughout the dark days of winter and celebrate what they’ve made in their arts, handcrafts, and music classes. As everyone begins to emerge from their winter cocoons, it’s also a chance to gather and celebrate our community. Even as we honor the return of spring remotely, we can cultivate the creative power within our smaller communities: our households. This spring, we are hoping that our Spring Arts Music & Makers Night on Wednesday, May 13, will not only be about nurturing the students’ creative spirits but those of our whole community as well!
Why is it important to make art now?
During this crazy time in which we are living, we can truly see what a powerful force creativity is. Creative thought is what drives the scientists in search of a vaccine, schools and teachers in pursuit of viable virtual classrooms, farmers to seek new means of getting food to hungry people, and journalists to find alternate ways for us to experience culture. Taking risks in search of something better is what creative exploration is all about, and it’s vital to our society. It’s also important for our own health and happiness. Making art can reduce stress and anxiety and build our problem-solving skills!
Join us in making!
On this special night, we are asking all of our community members, young and not so young alike, to participate in a grand celebration of spring and share your experiences with us. We put no restrictions on your creative endeavors, but please share them by video or photo! We’ll make an online gallery for everyone to experience. Please email Ms. Fontaine or Ms. Hilde with your experiences and photos or videos by the end of the week.
If your creative brains feel a little rusty, here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling. They are not assignments, prescriptions, or a to-do list. Just inspiration! Get outside and use your imaginations!
- Notice spring animal and bird sounds. Do an illustration that goes along with them. See how each family member draws something different. Talk about it. What do you think the animals are saying?
- Look for evidence of animal life around you: openings in old stone walls, nests, anthills, woodpecker holes. Write and illustrate a story about one of the animals.
- Watch for birds building nests.Try your hand at building a nest.
- Create a work of art using natural materials that you find. Watch this Andy Goldsworthy video for inspiration.
- Get creative in your garden! Plant something in a pattern. Decorate the fencing around your garden. Embellish some flower pots. Create a theme so all of you painted pots relate to one another.
- Make a tree rubbing and color it. Use it as the starting point for an artwork that tells a story.
- Collect flowers and leaves. Press them in a real dictionary. After they dry, make something with them.
- Build a stick house or fairy house.
- Roll in the grass and document what paths your bodies made.
- Watch the clouds, then take a photograph or video them. Using any material, transform the clouds into some kind of creature, or write cloud haikus.
- Look for buds on bushes and trees, bulbs coming up. Record their opening over time.
- Sketch out a chalk drawing on the street and “jump into it” like Mary Poppins.
- Venture outside on a windy day, and take pictures of everyone with their hair blowing wild! While it’s windy, craft kites and fly them together. What flies best?
- Visit an outdoor place you know well, but haven’t been to in a long while, and look at these familiar surroundings with new eyes. Take photographs, do nature journaling, or make a photo collage.
Do it all together! Ms. Fontaine and Ms. Hilde hope you’ll enjoy this time creating as a family and that these ideas will spark your own creativity! Remember to share what you make with us.
Join us in singing!
We hope you also take some time on Wednesday night to sing together! Singing is a part of every child’s Willow experience, with the guidance and support of Ms. Lefferts. As you celebrate Spring Arts this week, sing along to your favorite Willow Morning Gathering songs! We’ve created a playlist on YouTube with lyrics and piano accompaniments by Ms. Lefferts. We would love to hear your songs if you’d like to share! Send your recordings of you and your family singing your favorite Willow songs to Ms. Lefferts by the end of the week.
We hope all of these ideas spark joy in your time together as a family. Happy Spring!