Using nature in art class - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Using nature in art class

Last Fall, the Conserve School in Land O' Lakes transitioned from a private four year high school to a school where you can attend for a semester.

At a school focused on the outdoors even art class has a twist, and this week they received a special helper who taught by using her unique talents.

Paper from plants, baskets from branches, and slippers from sheep wool,  one class in the Northwoods is gaining an understanding of how nature can be used for art.  This is why Nancy Schwartz enjoys teaching the eccentric class. 

"So we begin that way looking at the world and then we start narrowing in a little bit and looking at what we have in this region in this place that we live and what kind of materials we can use to enrich our lives ascetically and make functional things that we can use," says Art Teacher, Nancy Schwartz

Making something "functional" is what the Earth Art class is learning this week by a special visitor, Terry Arnold, a Mother of one of the students at Conserve School.

 "I have really enjoyed the enthusiasm the kids have and its fun to work with them and teach them a skill that they haven't been exposed to at all its really new to them, touching the wool is new to them, seeing what they can do and make in a few days., they are really excited and I am excited to apart of that process with them," explains Terry Arnold.

The students are making felt slippers, that they will be able to use, but the process and teaching her trade is what makes Terry excited.

"To share what I know, which really has come naturally to me and it doesn't seem like a big deal when I do it but when I am with the kids I realize it is a big deal to them its really a big deal, its all new, every step of the process is new for most of them," shares Terry. 

Learning, experiencing and especially growing to a better understand of the environment is what the class is all about and Nancy, the teacher, believe the kids walk away with a new found knowledge.

 "In this world these days, they don't get alot of that kind of practical life skill training, I think they take away alot of skills and an interest in making things and an appreciation of something that's handmade instead of machine made,"explains Nancy. 

Online Reporter: Kristen Connolly



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