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Harwich Middle School Eighth Graders descend on PAAM for the 4th annual Field Trip

Harwich Middle School Eighth Graders descend on PAAM for the 4th annual Field Trip

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Each year around this time I implement the Grade 8 Visual Arts curriculum I designed which is referred to as “The Provincetown Project”.

Caitlyn, HMS grade 8 participated in "Art on the Edge", a Saturday program at PAAM.  Her work and that of 2 other HMS students is now on exhibit at the museum.

Caitlyn, HMS grade 8 participated in "Art on the Edge", a Saturday program at PAAM. Her work and that of 2 other HMS students is now on exhibit at the museum.

Students in the Harwich Public Schools take classes in the visual arts from Kindergarten through 8th grade as per the Massachusetts Department of Education’s mandate that the arts are part of a core curriculum. After this year some students will go on to study graphics at Cape Cod Tech and some will fulfill their Fine Arts requirement at Harwich High through continued study in studio arts. But for many, this is the last time they will engage in a formal program of study in the visual arts. The NEED program in 5th grade brings students to the National Seashore to expose them to the natural treasures on their very doorstep. By the same token, they should be exposed to the significant cultural treasure in their own back yard. Rather than going over the bridge to the MFA in Boston, students learned firsthand of the major role that Provincetown and its art colony played,– and continues to play, in the emergence of modern art in the 20th century and its continued impact world-wide.

An Homage to Ferol Sibley-Warthen by Fiona, class of 2006

An Homage to Ferol Sibley-Warthen by Fiona, class of 2006

Students take a field trip to the Provincetown Art Association & Museum in the late fall or winter. Through the efforts of education curator Lynn Stanley and the support of director Chris McCarthy, they are given an in-depth exposure to and hands-on

Teacher "Profe" Keefe and her posse all join in the drawing exercises.

Teacher "Profe" Keefe and her posse all join in the drawing exercises.

experiences with the art of Provincetown and its many illustrious artists. From Charles Hawthorne through Hans Hofmann and right up to contemporary artists living and working here today, students are thoroughly grounded in the depth and breath of art in Provincetown.

Students got to meet some muppets and their designer in one of this year's exhibits.

Students got to meet some muppets and their designer in one of this year's exhibits.

After studying the history of the colony and taking an exam, students selected their own choice of artist to research and then write brief research papers. Finally they worked on independent studio projects of their own choice, either copying a piece of their artists’ work or creating an original of their own in the style of the artist. The final assignment was to write a reflective piece which is displayed as an “artist’s statement” with the work on exhibit in the HMS Media center.

This little show is the culmination of a program of study spanning

A Peter Busa by Nell O,  from 2006

A Peter Busa by Nell O, from 2006

their entire 8th grade year–and for many, their last year- of study in art. Each year the students exceed expectations. I hope to be able to continue to find the grants to support this endeavor. And I hope you will agree that the work that is done is a wonderful testament to their talents and pays fitting homage to the artists and the art colony of Provincetown.

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