This past Friday the Creative Collaboratory club went on a field trip to the Kansas City- Missouri River to kick-off their river-related project. The club is led by art teacher Adam Finkelstein in an effort to help create awareness and raise money for the health of the river.
“I was most excited to be on the Missouri River and just hangout,” Senior Caitlyn Price said. “What inspired me the most was the juxtaposition of the man-made buildings around the river coinciding with the nature and river.”
The club does raises money by creating different projects involving science, art and literature. The students involved in the project work on these projects all year for their showcase on the first Friday of May. The projects are displayed and sold to those who come to the art show, and half the money made is donated back to the Healthy Rivers Foundation, while the other half goes to the artist.
Mr. Finkelstein has his IB Visual Arts, AP Portfolio and Art Portfolio classes participate, as well as other students interested. This year, students from Shawnee Mission South, Shawnee Mission Northwest and Saint Teresa’s Academy will be joining as well.
On Friday the students from East and Northwest met at the Healthy River Foundation’s building right by the river. This is the space the students will be showcasing their work in later this year. They get to see the space, find what area works for them and figure out what they can do to help with the rooftop garden.
After getting a run-down of the space, the students met with a local artist, Jose Faus, who works in writing, painting and murals. Finkelstein then gave an overview of what the young artists can expect, and what the scheduling to work in the space would be like. Junior Anna Williams felt very inspired by Jose Faus.
“Coming from Pembroke I was confused by Creative Co-Lab. at first, and what to do for it,” Williams said. “Hearing Jose talk about how he throws himself into projects, does the right amount of research and collaborates with artist in other mediums reassured me that I can do this project.”
Once everyone got a clear view of what the project fully was, and an inside look at the space, it was time to head to the river. At the river, founder Vicki Richmond took the students on a boat ride on the river. On the river Richmond talked about the history of the river, the issues going on such as the trash around the river, and gave a scenic tour. Northwest sophomore Asher Norberg loved his ride with Richmond.
“I loved learning about the history of the Missouri River,” Norberg said. “Especially how it’s treated differently in different parts of the country, and how it was crucial in Kansas City’s development. The ride helped me realize that I am interested in a performance piece or creating wearable objects from litter found along the river, to help create awareness.”
While some students were on the river tour, others took time to meet with another local artist who specializes in architecture, Dave Macaulay, as well as explore the area. This was a time to collect thoughts and ideas for projects, sketch things out, collect samples of plants or take some photos around the area.
“Overall the trip was really successful and I am so thankful I got to go,” Williams said. “From meeting the artists to exploring the area, it made me excited to do a project that benefits the city.”