Dennis P. McHugh Piermont Public Library
Piermont, New York
For this exceptional program, a town library took advantage of available resources—natural resources, in fact, provided by Sparkill Creek, the Hudson River and the 11,000-year-old, 1,000-acre Piermont Marsh, part of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The 14 students, grades 4 to 8, in the Artists-in-Residence program explored the dramatic landscape, sketching and taking pictures, and used another important resource, the library, to research local ecology and wildlife.
With the EJK Mini-Grant providing disposable cameras and printmaking materials, the students learned block printing, monotype and photo-transfer. Soon they produced an exhibit of prints, paintings and photographs, on display for a month in the Library Gallery. Ingeniously harnessing the beauty of nature, this program proves that an active learning experience is a beautiful and natural thing.