In preparation for the ArtStart EcoArts Festival, students at four area elementary schools worked with artists to create murals that represented four of the worlds major rivers, the Yangtze, the Nile, the Amazon, and the Mississippi.

Each site focused on a river, learning about the textile arts associated with cultures adjacent to the banks. The artists, Anne Sawyer-Aitch, Julie Boada and Mary Hark worked with students for a total of only 10 hours embedding conversations about our relationship to the river and the textile arts into the creative experience.

The rivers were incorporated into an amazing pageant of student art work at the EcoArts Festival on Harriet Island and then were displayed onsite for the remainder of the festival. One teacher offered this feedback:

Ms. Sawyer-Aitch demonstrated remarkable patience in helping students to learn several embroidery techniques and allowed them to produce a panel for the river that came alive with color and texture. It tickled my teacher’s heart to see six of my playground, football all stars sitting quietly on the floor debriefing yesterday’s game while their fingers darted in and out among perfectly crafted stitching.  What a wonderful world!