Concert cancellations lead to 'Evening of the Arts'
Andover school district-wide event

Kindergarten 3-D pop-up art on display at Florence M. Burd Elementary School's Evening of the Arts, held Friday June 8, 2018. Photos by Mandy Coriston

By Mandy Coriston
Andover — The unrelenting winter meant the Andover Regional School District had to twice cancel its 3rd and 4th grade Spring Concert, but the district’s art teacher, Claire Serratelli, knew just what to do. With the Florence M. Burd Elementary School Art Show already scheduled for Friday June 8, Serratelli invited the district’s music teachers to have their groups perform during the event, and the result was a districtwide “Evening of the Arts”.
Serratelli came to the district in March of 2017, and she said, “After working for 9 years in a private school setting, mostly with older kids, many with special needs, working with the little kids in this setting is just my dream job. I love it!”
The hallways of the school were covered in artwork from all grade levels, from papercraft to pastels, and a special project of sculptures by the 3rd and 4th graders, based on creatures they designed and drew themselves.
“We call them Incredible Magical Fantasy Creatures,” Serratelli said, “The kids drew them and then brought them to life. It was about taking the two-dimensional and figuring out how to best turn it into three dimensions. We used the art and sculpture of Dr. Seuss as inspiration.”
Parents and children roamed the halls, finding their own displayed art to show off, and looking at all the work of their peers. The kindergarten classes did projects based on the styles of Jackson Pollack and Georgia O’Keefe, as well as brightly colored three-dimensional pop-up art. First graders showed off sparkly snowmen on blue craft paper and 3-D cutout papercraft. The walls near the second grade classrooms were lined with painted and glued mosaics of vases and flowers, as well as 3-D papercraft in monochrome palettes.
In addition to their fantasy creature sculptures, 3rd- and 4th-graders also worked on another two-part project, which involved drafting a floral-inspired line drawing, and then creating a scratch-drawing cellophane plate of their draft. The cellophane plates consist of a rainbow-colored layer covered by a thin coating of black wax. When the wax is scratched away, the colors are revealed. What’s left is a translucent piece of art that really comes to life when hung in front of a light source.
The music portion of the evening began shortly after 5 p.m. with a brief performance by the Long Pond School Select Choir, conducted by district music teacher and choral director Jessica Kirschner. The Select Choir was followed by the Long Pond School Jazz Band with their faculty leader, LPS Band Teacher Jill Granholm, playing a short set which included crowd favorite “The Pink Panther.” At 6:30, the third and fourth graders had their long-awaited spring performance, with Kirschner again at the helm. The concert, titled “The Global Connection,” featured a selection of international folk and traditional songs.
Watching Serratelli’s enthusiasm as she greeted families, explained project concepts, and encouraged people to head into the multi-purpose room to enjoy the music, FMB Principal Cindy Mizelle said, “She is the epitome of an art teacher. She organized this whole event after we had the two concert cancellations. It really came together, and it’s such a great evening to show off the students’ creativity.”