For the last month, Rob Harvey, a potter from Dowelltown, TN, and I have been participating in the Art Comes to Schools program which is a joint effort between the Appalachian Center for Craft, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and three area schools. The purpose of this program is to bring professional artists working in fibers, clay, and metals to rural schools and have students participate in hands on projects that culminate in an exhibition of their works. Rob and I taught the clay portion to fifth graders, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. We visited each school twice. On the first visit we had them create masks using slabs, newspaper, and most of all their imaginations. The second visit involved finishing the bisque masks with paint, feathers, beads, and other embellishments. In addition to the hands on approach, we taught them a little about the history and use of masks. I think some of the students, surprised themselves with their creativity. All in all, it was very rewarding working with the students and teachers. The pictures above are from our visit to Gordonsville, TN. They are in order from top to bottom: Rob working with several students, the bisque masks, students finishing the surfaces with art teacher Jenny Ford, and finally, a few of the end products.