Lower School Art Teacher Brings Spring to Campus

Lower School art teacher Lilly Thomann started to notice a dip in people’s mood and emotions in February and March. The weather is gray, the end of the third quarter looming, and she saw that students tended to be stressed and have low affect. “I thought that having a school-wide art project would bring smiles to people’s faces and add a little color and excitement.” From there, “The Flower Project” was born to bring a little color and joy to the School and the community.

With this project, Lilly was able to bring groups of people together who otherwise may never interact. Her Intro to Ceramics Upper School students taught the Pre-K class and faculty how to make a ceramic flower. This not only gave them ownership of their learning, but taught them to be confident and more familiar with the materials and techniques. Several Seventh Graders taught teachers and staff how to make the flowers and the First Grade class taught Ms. Peisel! The entire MPH community has been invited into the art room to make a flower. Some people created the flowers, while others simply glazed a flower.  Once complete, the flowers were taken to the mulch beds outside of Bradlee for “planting.” Once planting, they can also be picked!

Lilly remarked on the emotional connection the students had with their flower. “I found that it was hard for the young students to part ways with their flower because the making of art is deeply personal. But we talked about sharing art and how other people would get to enjoy something they created. I had the Kindergartners plant their flowers and we all said goodbye to them and some kissed them goodbye. Many students have picked one, some picked their own.”

Each person was able to bring their own meaning to this project. Perhaps making a flower was reprieve from a busy day, perhaps it was to interact with students that they would not normally or perhaps it was to try something new. Picking a flower might bring joy, nostalgia, or a little sunshine to a day. This project was meant to bring a little bit of wonder, a little bit of joy, and a lot of love to a pretty incredible community! Many thanks to Lilly for making spring appear on campus in full bloom!