By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Northborough – On the evening of Wednesday, March 12, there will be quite a fiesta at the Marguerite E. Peaslee Elementary School. From 6-7:30 p.m., students, parents and members of the community will be celebrating the opening night for The Art of Mexico with a display of artwork made by the entire student body, refreshments, a building tour, scavenger hunt, song and dance performances by students, and participatory mural art inspired by the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
Marcia Waldman, the school's art teacher, is excited to share this culmination of research that has become a school-wide unit on the art of Mexico.
“I have noted the immense interest students have when learning about art from another country. They show curiosity for the traditions and enjoy making comparisons between their own work and the multicultural art we study. This unit has united students in a common goal, giving them an opportunity to develop school spirit while learning to work with new art materials and techniques,” Waldman said.
Waldman enjoys coming up with artistic themes that will inspire the students. In the past, she has organized art shows based on the art of Vincent Van Gogh, an enchanted forest theme, and art created from recycled materials. All of the projects are aligned with the state art standards.
“The kids loved learning about Mexico. They learned about the ancient Aztecs as well as technique. The first thing I did when introducing the unit was ask the students why we would study art from another country. Almost everyone started raising their hands and saying the most amazing things,” Waldman recalled.
The students from kindergarten through fifth grade will have their artwork featured in the show. Each grade created a different work, including feather shields, serape blankets, serpent mosaics, and Aztec breastplates. Fourth graders made Amate bark painting and grade five students made Huichol Indian beaded masks. Each art project was researched and crafted to replicate the actual item and all are colorful and festive.
Waldman is most appreciative for all of the support she has had with the art program from the Peaslee School's Parent-Teacher Organization and Dr. Jill Barnhardt, principal. In addition, this event would not be possible without help from parent volunteers, music teacher Katrina Whelan, parent coordinator Janeen Callaghan, and the maintenance staff.
Because this is a school-wide event, everyone is sharing in the excitement for the upcoming show.
“Making art has always been an important part of social culture,” Waldman said. “When we learn about art from other countries, it helps us appreciate what people value and consider beautiful. This exhibit showcases Mexico's unique contributions to the world of art while celebrating the fabulous projects made by Peaslee students.”
The event is open to all. The Peaslee School is located at 31 Maple St., Northborough.