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Workshop at Springfield H.S. Arts Academy

Last week I taught bookbinding at the Springfield High School Arts Academy in Springfield, Vermont. This year I taught 152 students over the course of three days.

Springfield High School Arts Academy students hard at work

Catherine, my assistant of the past three years, was so helpful. She prepped all the materials in advance and loaded up a cart for us. If we ran out of something, off to the art room she went to get more.

Cart full of bookbinding supplies

The cart of awesome

You’d think that after having been to the school twice before, I’d know my way around.

Nope – I’m pathologically, directionally impaired.

As I’ve mentioned before (here and here), the Springfield Arts Academy is based on the premise that integrating the arts into all subjects helps to reinforce concepts that students are learning. For three days, I taught four 90-minute blocks in a variety of classes – Poetry, Civics, Math, History, and Art.

All of the classes were working on the theme of revolution and it was approached in different ways – Industrial Revolution, American Revolution, cultural revolution of the 60’s – it’s such a rich subject. The work will culminate in the school’s Tenth Annual Arts Festival, where all the books will be on display.

Springfield High School Arts Academy students hard at work

I loved some of the questions/comments I got this year:

  • “Do you do a lot of this in your spare time?” I do a lot of this in my work time.
  • “Can you get me a bone smusher?” She was referring to a bone folder.
  • “I object that this bone folder is made from cow bone.” Hmm…you’re wearing a leather jacket.

This year’s structures included the flag book

Flag book in progress

…and the star book.

Star book

This year I was lucky enough to see some of the content creation. One class had taken photos that were cut up and used as flags – the completed books were so cool!

Completed flag book

When the books were arranged together, they made a compelling display.

Completed flag books on display

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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