Though the Tuxedo Park School Art Program has always incorporated a wide variety of materials, with the expansion of our tools and materials Mrs. Sweeney is taking the students’ knowledge of and experience with wood to new heights. In Upper School, students work together to build a bench out of reclaimed pallet wood. In Middle School, Grade 4 students combine photography and woodworking to create stereoscopes. In Primary School, Grade 3 students create paintings on wood with small panels and hinges to reveal hidden, yet connected, portions of their artwork. In all these instances students explore new tools and mediums while expanding their creative capacity. As Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum write in their book on American innovation, That Used to Be Us:
“Going forward, we are convinced, the world increasingly will be divided between high imagination-enabling countries, which encourage and enable the imagination and extras of their people, and low-imagination enabling countries, which suppress or simply fail to develop their people’s creative capacities and abilities to spark new ideas, start up new industries, and nurture their own ‘extra’.”
– Enhances the habits of attention and sustained focus.
– Expands motor skills and executive functions as students use tools to plan, cut, measure, smooth, join, and finish projects.
– Promotes perseverance and resilience in problem-solving when faced with setbacks.
– Builds on mathematical skill and understanding.
– Provides confidence and awareness of safety considerations required for use of common hand saws, screws, nails, and drill presses.
– Connects students to the historical context of human innovation through deeper understanding of the process of construction.
As woodworking opportunities continue to grow in our art program, we look forward to the continued enrichment of TPS students’ expression, collaboration, and imagination!