I was delighted to have the opportunity to see teaching artist Marian McLaughlin in collaboration with art teacher Sara Reinhardt at City Neighbors Charter last month. Over the course of a multi-day residency, Marian taught second graders about crankies as a way to tell stories. Students then had the opportunity to create 3 crankies, each about a different Black artist they had learned about. Students explored the works of Alma Thomas, Stanley Whitney, and Baltimore native, Tom Miller, then used their knowledge to design and create their collaborative crankies.
During this process, students were challenged to think not only about how to visually represent the artists they had learned about but also how incorporating sound through voice and percussion could help add to their work. After completing their crankies, students were able to share their work during a school-wide assembly!
Getting to see this residency not only through its final performance but also during in-process visits was a real bright spot! It was powerful to see Sara and Marian modeling the same collaborative approach to making and sharing artwork that students were asked to demonstrate in their own work. Joyful creativity reverberated through the art room as students worked, and the entire gym beamed with pride as students shared their finished pieces. Thank you Marian and Sara for working to create such a great experience for students!