ME MYSELF + EYE
TRIPTYCH PHOTO PROJECT
BY ELEANOR CROTEAU-LABRANCHE
Newmarket Elementary School, NH
As our project came to a close I felt a sense of intense, heart warming success for not only these fourth grade students, but for myself as their facilitator, and for Nancy Grace Horton our "zen-master", with her strong photography foundation, and cheerleader to "Make the picture, not take the picture!".
I also felt an overwhelming sense of support and gratefulness to our little school and their aid in ensuring that everything could come together in a seamless way. From finding creative ways of making our 3 day workshop schedule feasible for 94 students, their teachers, and the rest of our school, - to helping gather funds, equipment, and supplies. Preparing to host my very first artist residency was exceptionally hard work, yet a growing experience that will travel with me for the rest of my teaching career. The end reward has far out weighed the work (and the countless never ending to-do lists!)
Hard work aside, as I looked through each project I could not help but cherish some of the words and sentences students chose to write. Out of anything that they could have written about themselves or their lives I saw phrases such as, "I am proud to be who I am", and "I was born to make art". Pretty powerful thoughts for 10 year old students to express.
I was brought to tears by a student's statement that ..
"Sometimes I don't want to come to school, but today I am so glad I did because I got to make this."
Even now as I sit and reflect, I can hear students and adults of all ages stopping and admiring the photo triptych creations in the hallway, and exclaiming that they "can't wait to do the project too some day!"
We are all left feeling blessed to have witnessed pure creative magic. Thank you Nancy for helping provide that for us!My fourth grade students got to share a prideful sense of themselves with the world today - that's what photography can be, that's what art can be.