Artist in Residence (AIR): AFRICA Underway at Henniker Community School

Published: 10-16-2023 6:20 PM

An integrated arts approach that brings learning alive for students is at the heart of the Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program for 6th-grade students at the Henniker Community School. This year’s AIR program will focus on Africa and features an evening performance on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. with the 6th-graders. This event is free and open to the public.

During the week of October 2, Henniker 6th graders welcomed Nigerian artist Segun Olorunfemi into their classrooms. Mr. Olorunfemi’s artistic talents include sand painting, batik, and oil paint graphics. While he was at HCS, he taught 6th-grade students about linoleum printmaking (linocut). A variant of woodcut prints, in this form of printmaking, a design is cut into a linoleum surface with a sharp tool. The linoleum sheet is then rolled with ink and pressed onto paper or fabric. Linocut has a strong history and a robust contemporary practice in South Africa. During this portion of AIR, each 6th grader carved a design on a linoleum sheet and then handprinted the design on paper. These works will be displayed during the culminating AIR performance on Oct. 26. 

The Sixth Grade will be working with Steve Ferraris and James Marshall from Root Drumming Systems to learn West African drumming during the week of October 23. They will learn the story of African drumming and its significance to diverse cultural communities within Africa. Students will share what they have learned during their performance on October 26.

The Artist-in-Residence program for sixth graders at the Henniker program is made possible by funding from the Henniker PTA and the taxpayers of Henniker.

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