For the twelfth consecutive year, Oliver Art Center has placed three skilled artists in every third-grade classroom in Benzie County to undertake a remarkable program: in collaboration with students and teachers, instructors Meg Louwsma, Vickie Slater, and Eliza Forrest develop a theme that students study and engage through dance, visual art, and writing. The program runs annually from early January until mid-March, when a performance is staged in the Benzie Central auditorium for parents and educators. Students make their own backdrops, dances, and design the T-shirts they wear. This year’s production is taking place on Tuesday, March 21st at 7:00pm at the Benzie High School Auditorium.
This year’s theme is the Systems of the Body. This incorporates what these systems do and how they work together. This theme touches on schools’ existing science, geography, and history curriculums in a number of ways while also lending itself to beautiful and fun interpretations in dance and visual art. This overlap of hard science and creativity is a cornerstone aspect of MOSAIC. It increases scientific and artistic literacy along with independent thinking skills. The final performance builds self-esteem and teamwork in the students. Oliver Art Center Executive Director Mercedes Michalowski said, “This year has a great buzz of excitement with the teachers and students and we hope that the local community will come out and support our teachers and students in their final performance.”
MOSAIC thrives within a context of deep dedication to art education and outreach led by Oliver Art Center. MOSAIC has reaches over 2,300 young students in the past twelve years with dance and visual arts in the classroom as the schools could not have done alone. It’s Oliver Art Center’s strategy to mix the exceptional long-term outreach program MOSAIC with school tours of its galleries, and the continually expanding Summer Youth Arts program. Oliver Art Center will offer more variety at lower rates of Youth Arts Classes in 2017, in drawing, painting, sculpture, clay, fiber art, and metal tooling. Their entire line-up can be viewed under “Classes” at Oliverartcenterfrankfort.org.
MOSAIC and OAC’s summer Youth Art Classes are made possible this year in part because of the generous support of the Panther Parents, Jewell Foundation, and two major anonymous contributors. The MOSAIC program costs just over $15,000 per year and the Oliver Art Center is always looking for additional support.
The Oliver Art Center exhibitions are open to the public free of admission Monday through Friday, 10am to 4:30pm, Saturday, 10am to 4pm, and Sunday, 12pm to 4pm. Please visit www.oliverartcenterfrankfort.org or contact 231-352-4151 for more information.