OK, so its not the Great Pumpkin. It’s not huge. It’s not bright orange, and I’m a little skeptical about its flavor. There’s no mythology surrounding the Mediocre Pumpkin, but still, it’s a pumpkin. We’ll take it. On this Thanksgiving Day it’s especially important to look for blessings. Though the kindergarten class that planted seeds when school started had dreams of dozens of fat pumpkins the size of small cars, they still can enjoy at least one small pumpkin pie. The best thing about this pumpkin though is what is most valuable for every gardener: hope for next year. Inside this pumpkin will be seeds, little promises that remind us that this game isn’t over. There’s always next year when the soil might be more fertile, the weather might be better, and there might be fewer caterpillars… and for that, we are thankful.
It is a challenge to capture in a few words and pictures what our students experienced this last week at our annual Art in the Garden event. This is the day when several creative members of the community come to our campus to celebrate our pollinator garden and use their skills to engage students in conversations about the creative process. This year the diversity of talent was remarkable. When thirteen artists and performers enter a garden it is difficult to predict the variety of expression. From the silly to the sublime our students witnessed quite the spectrum of artistic interpretation. All were inspired by the same garden but each told a different story.
Consider the playful picture above. Few students (and even fewer adults) could resist adding found elements to this rather stoic portrait. This table provided a steady chorus of laughter all morning. Contrast that with the exquisite detail captured in a miniature watercolor and you’ll begin to get the idea.
Students witnessed big splashes of bright acrylic color as well as more subtle brushstrokes of oil paint. They had interesting discussions about everything from costume design to architectural structure and ornamentation . Several students had the opportunity to create innovative works inspired by environmental artists like Andy Goldsworthy. A visiting hive of honey bees displayed their own take on this type of environmental installation. All of this was accompanied by a beautiful flute and rhythmic percussion that gave a heartbeat to this lively morning. What a thing of beauty it is when so many talented artists come together to inspire and educate the next generation of creative thinkers and doers.