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Middle School Students Benefit from Exposure to Diverse Artists in Residence

Head of Middle School Warren Sepkowitz recently invited parents to Bissell Campus for a tour of the various art works on display, primarily created through our Artists in Residence Program. 

Thanks to the Parents’ Association, the Artists in Residence Program brings outside artists to campus to teach and share their craft and work directly with our students and faculty. Since 2011, Middle School students have either worked with or benefited from local, national, and international artists visiting campus. “For me, it’s healthy for students to be around beauty and expose them to different types of art,” says Warren. 

Bronze Sculpture, Chas Fagan 

Country Day parent and internationally recognized artist Chas Fagan worked with our eighth-grade art students on the design of a bronze sculpture. The four-foot-high sculpture located at the front of campus depicts an oak tree stump draped with a buccaneer flag and hat, with various symbols representing learning, knowledge, and Country Day history. 

Mural Project, Will and Lauren Puckett 

Under the direction of local muralists Will and Lauren Puckett, in 2012, seventh and eighth grade visual arts students created a narrative design influenced by a pop-up book. All 103 students are represented in the mural, which reflects events, culture, and history of the Middle School. The mural is located in the breezeway between Rea Hall and the Modern and Classical Languages building.

Charcoal Mural, Dwayne Wilson

Middle School Art Teacher and Muralist Dwayne Wilson created a massive charcoal mural highlighting the diverse realities of science, researched by a diverse range of scientists. “I wanted our students to imagine themselves being a scientist, delving into the many flows of where science can take you,” says Warren. “I wanted the walls to be beautiful and something special for our students to savor, but I also wanted our students to watch an artist at work.” The displays can be seen on the first floor of Dowd Science, and include Jane Goodall, anthropologist; Mario Molina, environmental chemist; Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician; Tu Youyou, malariologist; Asima Chatterjee, organic chemist; Albert Einstein, physicist; and Mary Ross, engineer.

Glass Mosaic, Pam Goode 

Artist and Country Day alumna Pam Goode was the Middle School’s first Artist in Residence in 2011. She worked with eighth grade visual arts students to design and create a glass mosaic integrating depictions of physical and earth science and art. It hangs on the second floor of Dowd Science building. 

Quilt, Linda Pelletier 

Retired Middle School teacher Linda Pelletier worked with students to learn the artistry of quilting. Each patch is symbolic of different moments and experiences of student lives in Middle School. It is hanging on the first floor of Dowd Science building.  

Composer Project, Alan Kaufman

In 2013, Composer Alan Kaufman worked with music classes to teach them the process of creating a commissioned musical piece. Mr. Kaufman took lyrics written by then fifth-grader Alexandra Eliasek ’21 and created an original melody to go with them. The five-minute piece, entitled “Believe,” was performed by the 7th/8th grade choir, string orchestra, and concert band. 

Student Art

In addition to works from the Artist in Residence Program, student art from all grades can also be seen displayed in the halls around campus, including throughout Dowd Science and Rea Hall.

Military Tribute Wall 

To pay tribute to our military, more than 30 framed photographs honoring our Country Day men and women who have served or are serving in our armed forces reside on a large wall in the Dowd Science Building. It was a joint effort by art teachers Mike Hennessey and Art Hoffman, and former parent Mary Engel.