Earth Day Celebrated with Student Art at Vosburg Neck

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 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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