Building Community Through the Arts


A dynamic partnership between Spencertown Academy Arts Center and Chatham Public Schools, artsVOYAGE works collaboratively with teachers to design residencies that bring artists into the classroom to enhance and enrich the learning experience. The program is purposefully designed to be a fulfilling addition to the increasingly test-centered mandates of the school year.

Supporting Curriculum

Drawing created in ArtsVoyage program

Classroom teachers and artsVOYAGE instructors – professional artists in the fields of visual arts, poetry, architecture, music, dance and storytelling – identify areas of the curriculum that could benefit from an arts-infused model of instruction. The resulting powerful lessons, with art at their core, captivate and empower students while reinforcing current classroom learning. 

As the residency progresses over five to ten visits, students create their own unique artwork and projects, incorporating guided research, art making, and inquiry-based conversations.

A few examples of artsVOYAGE residencies:

“Imagining Venice”

A cornerstone of the program, this popular project begins with students looking at paintings by Tiepolo, Canaletto, and others, to envision the magnificent city of Venice. Through in-depth readings they learn more about its history and culture. A celebratory final project might include a masked ball (with student-created masks and historical dances) or construction of an accurate model of the Grand Canal (milk cartons transformed into Renaissance palazzi).

“Seeing Plants and Flowers: Artists and Botanists”

This residency explores the intersection of art and science by considering the multiple ways we can investigate the wonder of plants and flowers. In addition to studying science texts describing the life cycle of plants and their various components, students study the artwork of Basilius Besler’s 1613 “Florilegium” and plant drawings by such artists as Barbara Regina Dietzsch and Ellsworth Kelly.

“Language and Landscape: Poetry of T’ang Dynasty China”

Students explore the nature of imagery in words, art, and calligraphy.  Reading poems from 8the Century China, students experience the natural world through the eyes of Chinese Scholars. Guided by these works, students write and paint poems in the “jueju” style. In their music classes, students learn the history of Chinese musical composition and notation. And, in a final celebration, music and poetry are performed together.

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