An art installation focusing on the Rhode Island state motto of Hope and the state symbol of an anchor by the seventh grade at St. Michael’s Country Day School will soon be on display in Washington, D.C.
Aware of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s long-standing commitment to the promotion of Rhode Island artists and their works in his offices, Leslie Grosvenor, Director of Institutional Advancement at St. Michael’s, reached out to Vivian Spencer, the Senator’s Special Projects Coordinator. This lead to a collaboration by St. Michael's art teacher, Leslie Fisk and middle school English teacher, Tami Holden on a multi-disciplinary project with the seventh grade, incorporating their studies in English and art.
After exploring various Rhode Island themes, including landmarks, bridges, Mr. Potato Head, and the Rhode Island Red, they settled on the state motto of Hope.
Inspired by poet Wallace Steven’s “Thirteen Ways to Look at a Blackbird,” Holden had the students write one or two line stanzas of what hope meant to them in a project called “Twenty-Eight Views of Hope.”
These stanzas were then transferred in Fisk's studio classroom onto square 10”x10” canvases done in acrylic paint with the anchor symbol as the centerpiece. The installation was picked up earlier this week and is currently en route to Washington, D.C.
As one student stated on their artwork, “Hope is the wheel that lets you steer, not the anchor that holds you in place.”