Grant in Action: Birds to Bivalves-Paying Attention

Written by Allison Flowerdew

Tim Christensen is back at YHS helping Holly Houston and Marita O’Neill bring their Spring 2018 grant to life! The name of their grant is “Birds to Bivalves,” which has morphed into a project Holly is calling “Paying Attention.” It’s an appropriate name for what the students are doing, because they have been asked to become more aware of the wildlife in their local surroundings.

Each student was asked to choose an animal that they have seen locally, then do some research on that animal before etching it into plexiglass. During this process, the students questioned and discussed what that animal meant to them, how it changed their surroundings, what it would be like if that animal was no longer there, etc.

Once the etching started, Holly’s art students etched the animal onto plexiglass, along with three things the animal needs to survive. Marita’s poetry students etched an animal onto plexiglass as well, along with a poem. Both classes were working together in Holly’s room, so they could learn from Tim’s expertise. He’ll be working with the art and poetry classes for 10 days. Through the etching process, Tim is helping the students learn about contrast, patterning, line direction and composition. They will be printing their work soon! This type of printing is called “intaglio” printing.

Holly’s other art classes will be working with Tim to sculpt animals out of clay.

The artwork will be displayed at the Yarmouth Historical Society in February. They are hoping to host the students one evening, so the students can read their poems and talk about their artwork.

Etching on plexiglass.
Etching on plexiglass.

Etching a poem & animal on plexiglass.

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