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Learning Art by Becoming Art

The Game Loft in Belfast is working to expose middle school students participating in their I Know ME program to the world of fine art in Maine through a new experiential art program.

I Am Art encourages youth to learn art by becoming art as they recreate selected Winslow Homer paintings through creative and professional photo-shoots,” according to Executive Director Patricia Estabrook. The program, which recently received additional grant support from the Maine Community Foundation, has already begun. Photographer Tom Foster worked on location with two groups of kids at Yori Farm in Brooks, ME and Birch Point State Park. The goal was to modernize Homer’s original works “Crossing the Pasture” and “Watching the Ships”.

Young people participating in the program make decisions about which paintings they wish to portray and how to use contemporary props and clothing in their recreations. In addition to acting as models for the photographs, the kids participate in discussion groups and write journal entries about the paintings, their possible meanings, and their personal experiences during the project.

“The program’s purpose is to enrich students’ understanding of Winslow Homer and his contribution to the culture of Maine. Homer was selected for his accessibility, his Maine themes, and his use of subjects similar in age to participating youth,” Patricia Estabrook continued.

The kids will also have the opportunity to visit the artist’s studio and gallery in Prout’s Neck, ME where they will get to experience the artist’s original works firsthand after finalizing their own recreations.

The I Am Art project will culminate with an exhibition of the young artist’s works during Belfast’s Friday Art Walks in the fall of 2019. All About Games in downtown Belfast will be open to showcase their photography and allow youth to interact with the greater public during these popular open gallery events. This will be an exciting chance for program participants to share and reflect on their experiences with the community.

I am Art is a part of The Game Loft’s I Know ME program, which engages kids with Maine’s history, geography, economics, people. promise, and challenges while instilling within them a strong sense of self and place. Programming focuses on field trips, educational enrichment, helping kids become comfortable with themselves and others, games, conversation, decision-making, and travel. The program serves cohorts of 10 youth enrolled in the Mount View School system for six years beginning in 7th grade. I Know ME is made possible by generous grant funding by the Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation.

Please contact The Game Loft at (207) 338-6447 or info@thegameloft.org for additional information about program offerings.