Friday, May 24, 2019

community arts awards

I received two awards last night at a spaghetti dinner honoring the artists in our community. Hosted by the Basin Park Hotel and Main Street Eureka Springs, I was honored as "Best Arts Educator," and for "Best Fine Craft." The voting was online. of all the artists and art teachers in town, it was an honor to be singled out.

The Eureka Springs Pleine Air Festival is this week so there are painters set up with easels in lovely locations all over town. Years ago Arkansas poet John Gould Fletcher had written to Louis Freund, that "There's not much happening in Eureka Springs, but it sure is laid out pretty." That can be said today, so it's not surprising that painters would come from all over to paint this week.

My last classes of the school year for Kindergarten and for 5th and 6th grades are today, so I'm beginning to wrap up another year and I'll be turning my attention to a summer of adult classes.

The photo is from our boat outing on Wednesday.

Make, fix, and create. Provide opportunities for others to learn likewise.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

boat and picnic day

Our Bevins Skiffs that we built last year gave us an excuse for a day at Lake Leatherwood where our students played, picnicked and took turns rowing around the lake.

We had a boat day last year that was for the builders to have a turn at the oars. Yesterday our students grades 1 through 12 had an opportunity to go out in the boats. It was fun. All came back safe and dry. The boats were perfect.

I thank the staff at the Clear Spring School for planning the event, feeding the kids and helping in every way. The girl in the lead boat asked, "Will you take my picture, please? I want to see it on facebook." Here, you see it too. Thanks also to Juanita and Anna for serving as water safety observers on paddle board and kayak.

The Bevins Skiff is a boat specifically designed for teaching math.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

this day...

Today we had a visit by staff members from Arkansas A+ Schools in preparation for further training in June which will allow us to become an official A+ School. A+ refers to the integration of the Arts. We do that quite well and hope that Clear Spring School can help as a role model for other schools.

Tomorrow is boat and cook out day. All of our students will go to Lake Leatherwood to play and to ride in the Bevins Skiffs we built last year.

I am working to solidify my program for the coming years. The wood shop will move this summer into the garage of our new hands-on learning center. The garage will require some expansion and so we will have a capital campaign to help it become a space for teaching teachers as well as kids. My old wood shop space will be surrendered and refurbished to provide classroom space for further growth of our school.

I've been training a possible replacement teacher, and at some point, I may step back into the sidelines. But not yet.

Make, fix, create, and insist that others have the opportunity to learn likewise.

Monday, May 20, 2019

back to the hands

Yesterday I spent most of the Books in Bloom Literary Festival hauling tents, putting up tents, parking cars, taking down tents and hauling tents back to the storage unit where they will wait for next year's event. (husbandly support)

I did attend one of the author presentations on a book about those of us who moved to the Ozark Mountains in the early to mid seventies. In it we were cleverly named "hipbillies" a term combining the terms hippies and hillbillies.

The book is largely about the "back to the land" movement that brought growth and new direction to the Ozark region. It mentions Ed Jeffords and the Ozark Institute for which I built library shelves in my small garage shop in the late 1970's. A number of my other friends are featured or mentioned in the book. Many other friends who had come and tried their best to scratch honest livings from thin and barren soils moved on to other things.

The "back to the land"movement would be better described as a "back to the hand"movement, as it was built not only of those who wanted to farm and own land  (also a return to the hand) but also those of us who had hoped for more meaningful lives as artists and craftspeople. The back to the landers would show up in Eureka Springs to "boogie." While the artists and craftspeople were here and in Mountain View or in surrounding hills, struggling to learn to make beautiful and useful things.

The book,"Hipbillies" was sold out yesterday at the event but I had the opportunity to review a copy prior to publication. It is an interesting read and a look into the history of this place that I and my friends were parts of. My own signed copy of the book will be sent by mail.

Today in the wood shop at the Clear Spring School, we'll be inching toward the conclusion of the school year.

Make, fix, and create. Assure a future in which all others learn likewise.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

books in bloom (what did you learn in wood shop?)

Today is our annual Books in Bloom literary festival at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. It's an opportunity to meet a variety of nationally known and local writers. And buy their books. Organizing Books in Bloom is one of my wife's most significant projects, so I am called in as a volunteer and sponsor.

Yesterday I picked up Jeffrey Deaver from the airport and learned that in addition to having over 40 million books in print in multiple languages, he took shop class in 7th and 8th grades. "What happened to all that, " he wondered aloud. I assured him that shop classes were on a comeback tour, just as this is Jeffrey Deaver's second visit to Eureka Springs. Shop classes are becoming popular again, driven by a renewed understanding that we need skilled workers unless we've agreed to be a nation of idle consumers and fail as a nation.

Unfortunately, the recognition that all children are brought to greater understanding and fit into the fabric of humanity and human culture and natural life, has not sunk in yet.

Jeffrey Deaver, author of many, many books, can still remember what he learned in wood shop. Ask him about it.

Make, fix, read then create. Plan for others to learn likewise.


Friday, May 17, 2019

white st. art walk

Tonight is the 29th annual White St. Walk in which yards, porches and homes along White St. in Eureka Springs will host artists selling their work. It is a major event in the year, and as usual, I'll have some of my work set up for sale at Lux Weaving Studio. I hope that a few readers can attend.

The photo shows student engagement in the arrangement and play with the large Froebel blocks in the Clear Spring School sand box. The sand, originally put in place for volleyball, provides an ideal foundation for the blocks. Once arrangements of blocks are made, the children play.

In preparation for reaccreditation at the Clear Spring School, we are  reviewing our school curriculum and scope and sequence of learning between the various age groups. One thing became clear to me in recent reading. We are a school located in a special place that affords special opportunities for place based learning. We are located in a community filled with music and the arts, with a backdrop of historic architecture, and set in a unique and rich natural environment. Our students camp, travel and play in the woods. They engage in internships, and they collaborate between grade levels.

In explaining to ISACS, our accreditation organization, what we do and how our curriculum is designed, these are important points. While most school have become walled enclaves purposely isolated from the real world. we recognize that schooling to be at its best should be connected with reality in order for learning to go deep and connect deeply.

Make, fix, create, and adjust schooling so that others play and learn likewise.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

National Arbor Day.

Yesterday was National Arbor Day and we celebrated at the Clear Spring School by planting a sugar maple along the soon to be built Clear Spring Trail that will go from the school to Harmon Park and and provide an option to walking in the road. The trail is a collaboration between the school and the parks commission and will be networked to trails throughout our city. Our mayor read a proclamation noting the importance of the day.

Today I will be setting up my display for the White St. Art Walk, one of the premier events of the May Festival of the Arts in Eureka Springs. It is a large street party, now in its 29th year. If you are local to Eureka Springs, find a place to park and come to Lux Weaving Studio 18 White St. on Friday sometime from 5-10 PM and I'll show you some of my work. Other artists will have their work on display and for sale, up and down the street.

Most artists need to sell their work in order to make more and to survive. Folks who are independently wealthy only rarely feel the need to create, but they can be of assistance to those who do.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.