Many were saddened to hear of the recent closing of Rogers Elementary, but none more so than the students and faculty of the school.
However, the best therapy is creativity, as they soon discovered. Students and teachers alike unleashed their artistic side for an exhibition entitled "Tapestry - The Art of Rogers Elementary School" commemorating the recently closed building. Beginning this week, the show is housed in downtown Jamestown's Wright Gallery.
"We wanted to do one last art project for the school," said Len Barry, program coordinator for the Arts Council of Chautauqua County. "One last big thing that everybody could do."
The students of Rogers Elementary School expressed their fondness for the school through art.
P-J photo by Nicholena Moon
When deciding how to best represent the school, teaching artists Renee Pye, Tara Eastman and Kellyn Baron pitched the winning idea. As a result, during the last week of school every student at Rogers Elementary created one painting. The square works were then assembled on larger tapestries, inspiring the title of the exhibition.
The three artists and some volunteers went from classroom to classroom helping the students create their masterpieces. Each grade tackled a different theme chosen by their teachers. Pre-kindergarten children explored shapes while kindergarten interpreted seasons, first grade represented literary characters, second grade handled special classes like gym, third grade created scenes depicting the school and surrounding area, fourth grade made word art and the inclusion classes included their handprints.
The exhibition will remain open through August, although that date may extend through the beginning of the school year. The show also has plans to travel, Barry said.
"We will probably put these up at Bush and Fletcher schools, and maybe some point at Jefferson too, where the kids have all transferred," he said.
Nostalgic visitors can stop by to see the exhibit on the second floor of the Arts Council For Chautauqua County offices at 116 E. Third St. any time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.