"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."

Visual Arts Teacher, Andrea Aimi, and Third Grade Artists Win Recognition

The collage above shows the students award winning "Quilt Bridges."

Visual Arts teacher, Andrea Aimi's Grade 3 class project, "Quilt Bridges," has been selected as a winning entry by a judging panel for the East Side Coastal Resiliency's Call for Art. "Quilt Bridges" is a third grade collage project that has a running theme of bridges, personal narrative, and connection. In addition to a public showing of the artwork around the ESCR project site, Friends will be receiving a monetary award. Andrea will work with the third grade students to select a worthly organization to which to donate the prize money. The art installation will take place this spring 2022, in East River Park, Stuyvesant Cove Park, Asser Levy Playground or Murphy Brothers Playground. More details to follow.

About the Project

This lesson is about defining the word bridge to convey a personal story within a piece of art. Bridge is defined by the dictionary as both a structure carrying a road, path, railroad, or canal and also as a verb to bring two things together. Each class discussion speaks about each of these definitions as the students brainstorm different representations of how they define the word bridge and where they find connections in family life and their art making. This project educats students about three African American female artists: Harriet Powers, Faith Ringgold, and Bisa Butler. Each of these quilters tell stories through shape, form, fabric, and color. Harriet and Faith use the quilts as a sense of order, while Bisa uses the fabric to construct how shapes can be organic and yet still work to create an image. They all tell stories through their art. Andrea's classes were asked to build their own story through shape and the process of collage. While creating their work they were asked the query, "How do we build foundations for our bridges to be stronger?" This lesson explores how our classroom can be inclusive and cohesive with our differences in sharing our stories and experiences. Every voice has context but different experiences, strengths, and weaknesses.

Students learned about how quilting has been a source of story — telling in the heritage of African Americans that is both past and present. In class, Andrea read Faith Ringgold's book, Aunt Harriet's Railroad in the Sky. The quilt can be a metaphor or symbol of how differences must align except when they can’t. Andrea also proposed the question, How can each learner take their own shape in the classroom? 
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Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.