Earth Day Celebrated with Student Art at Vosburg Neck

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Student artwork based on natural themes adorned the walls of the draft horse barn at the Howland Preserve on Saturday. Olivia Myers (above) of Mehoopany, with her parents Patrice and Tom, found her blueberries piece among more than 300 on display.

Photos and Story by Rick Hiduk

A collection of mixed-media paintings by middle school students from the Tunkhannock Area School District drew mote than 150 people to the Howland Preserve on Vosburg Neck on Saturday. It was the fourth year that Earth Day was celebrated by pairing art with nature.

Fifth through eighth graders in Ali Wilson’s and Debra Donowski’s art classes were introduced to a variety of techniques to capture the essence of natural objects such as fruits and vegetables.

We were looking at the blueberry, but we weren’t looking at the paper,” fifth-grader Olivia Myers explained. The youths also traced the objects. “We then incorporated both of them into the sketch.”

Sixth-grader Nicholas DeMarco (below) called the first part of the process a “free draw.” His class used spinach as their subject matter.

After drawing and tracing onions, spinach, blueberries, carrots, and beets onto base sketches, artist-in-residence Annamarie Ciccarelli showed the students how to color their respective renderings with dyes and paints made from the food items. Some students, like Brittani Sackman, added narratives (below) to their masterpieces.

As guests wandered about the spacious gallery, they were invited to enjoy a beverage and a snack, including ice cream – served up by Debbie Dowling of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce (below), Tamara DeLeo (not pictured) and others – with do-it-yourself fixings.

Ciccarelli attended the art show after conducting a natural dyes workshop at the nearby Endless Mountains Nature Center.

The artist-in-residence program is sponsored by the PA Council on the Arts. The Howland Preserve is a 669-acre property along the Susquehanna River at Vosburg Neck owned by the North Branch Land Trust and operated by Friends of the Howland Preserve. For more information, interested readers can log on to www.howlandpreserve.com and follow Friends of the Howland Preserve on Facebook.

Additional Gallery Photos:

Families peruse student artwork exhibited in the draft horse barn at the Howland Preserve on April 22.

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Managing Editor of EndlessMtnLifestyles.com, dedicated to providing interesting information about life in the Endless Mountains region of northern Pennsylvania. The website - a meager investment with no immediate return - is meant to be community-based and to reflect the varied tastes of its readers. Submissions from legitimate organizations and event coordinators are welcome and will be published as space and time allow. This website is operated by Endless Mountains Media Services. I am seeking submissions of news stories, promotional press releases, and photos for posting with full recognition for the submitter. I am also hoping to build a base of correspondents who would enjoy being my "ears and eyes" in parts of the four county region where news is happening. I am also a self-employed media consultant and freelance writer/editor, providing professional services for businesses, municipalities, and organizations for which retaining a full time staff writer is not a viable option.

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