Roger and I took a trip to Applewild School in Fitchburg Massachusetts on May 29th, 2015 to witness the installation of Roger’s and the Students’ artwork, created during our Creativity Workshop Residency in march 2015. The paintings were to become a permanent gallery installation in the dining hall at Applewild.
It was a stunning, unseasonably warm, late May day. Perfect for a ROAD TRIP which Roger and I both happen to enjoy immensely! The drive from Portsmouth, NH to Fitchburg, MA was uneventful aside from our chatter about recent events, musical, artistic and otherwise. A couple of “little old ladies” catching up! Traffic got a little dicey here and there but, for the most part, the trip down was smooth sailing.
We pulled into the south end of Applewild School and parked near the auditorium. Our first task was to find Tally Lent so we could sign the painting called “Motherless Child” which the school had purchased as a gift for outgoing Head of School Chris Williamson. We walked up to the main office and ran into Erica in the lobby. She called down to Tally to let her know we were on our way. As we passed Chris Williamson’s office, he welcomed us back to Applewild, thanked us for coming down for the unveiling and we shared a story or two. Chris is a warm and welcoming person and we immediately felt back at home in the Applewild Community! We were only here for 3 days in March but it feels like an In Ears ‘n’ Eyes home base because of all the kind wonderful people!
We headed up to the wood shop to sign the painting. Skip welcomed us into his beautiful, bright, clean shop and, on the workbench in the back, sat “Motherless Child” waiting for Roger’s signature before framing. We took a few pictures of the signing and then headed back to the Cafeteria for the unveiling.
On our way down the hill, Sarah Sanford popped out of the main building for welcome hugs and laughs. The end of the Applewild School year was very near so everyone was busy winding down but staying focused to the last minute! Our ceremony in the cafeteria was one of many to come in the following days. A crowd was already forming in front of the cafeteria and we spent some time reacquainting with students and teachers. As more arrived we walked into the dining hall and, once inside the room, turned to see five painting mounted to the wall, just above the entrance. The paintings command the space nicely and bring a giant splash of lively color, depth and movement to the room.
Once all had arrived Sarah talked about the In Ear ‘n’ Eyes residency for a few moments. She mentioned the impact of our work on everyone in the school and how students and teachers would now be able to relive those moments each time they viewed the paintings here in the dining hall. Chris Williamson talked briefly about the transformation he went through during our residency. Chris was initially skeptical of the connection between Roger’s painting and the In Ears ‘n’ Eyes music being performed during our opening concert in March. He explained that as he saw us work with the students and, after a few conversations with Roger and some of the musicians, he started to “hear” the connection between music and art. Another IENE success story! Thanks to Chris Klaxton, Taylor O’Donnell, Scott Kiefner and Jonny Peiffer for making that happen!
Roger and I talked briefly, thanking Applewild for being such a welcoming community and for having the vision to see the value in making art and music so important in their daily lives. We reached every student with this residency and the main reason is that Sarah Sanford and Chris Williamson and all the faculty and staff at Applewild place such a high value on a complete education that embraces art and music.
After the unveiling we stayed and dined with the students and faculty. What a wonderful way to spend a stunning spring morning! Thank you Applewild School for being an incredible community of caring and welcoming folks!