Arts in Education celebrates students at Allen Middle School

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The Arts in Education (AIE) division enables artists to help others explore and develop their creativity and artistic skills in a variety of educational, community, and institutional settings. Teachers select and collaborate with qualified artists who spend at least 10 days in a school conducting an artist residency. Residencies integrate the arts into a teacher’s core curriculum to provide a customized experience for their students. The Capital Area Intermediate Unit(CAIU) is a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts regional Arts in Education partner that works in a three-county region: Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon.

Through the AIE program, one of West Shore School District middle schools had the opportunity to participate in an artist residency. Allen Middle School, led by Principal Brian Granger and Assistant Principal Casey Cappello, worked together with their art teacher, Jillian Galle to ensure their quarter three art students could participate in such a unique project.

The residency involved local glass artist, Linda Billet, over a two-week period in the creation of a beautifully made glass mosaic. Students across grades 6-8 created their own glass tiles with a personalized design and then learned the process of firing glass in the schools kiln. Once fired, students worked together to arrange their glass pieces to fit within their overall design, glued them into place, and finished with grouting and cleaning the final mosaic. Throughout the residency, the artist would speak with students about career opportunities in art and design and students completed a journal reflection on their unique experience.

Students’ families and community members were invited to an unveiling of the glass mosaic on Tuesday, March 29 to celebrate the final piece of art.