It has been exciting to provide so many amazing and creative opportunities for the community of Peninsula to enjoy this Fall.  The Peninsula community is benefiting greatly by working with Julie Keefe and Caldera.  Our most impactful event so far has been Fallen Fruit which involved both students and parents visiting the Portland Art Museum, experiencing and creating art together.   Our hope is that students are beginning to think of themselves outside of the school, thinking bigger than Peninsula and hopefully beginning to navigate their own place in the world.   By working within the neighborhood, from planting fruit trees to celebrating the Harvest Fair, to making ornaments for the community tree lighting ceremony, everything we do is interconnected through the people that live here.  We know that these opportunities are responsive to the needs of the community from the feedback we get from parents.  We’re beautifying neighborhoods and connecting people through dialogue by providing opportunities to meet each other and artists.  These discussions could lead to bigger projects in the community and the success of these projects will fuel other activities.   We’re exciting for what we’ve accomplished and what lies ahead.

Some of our amazing activities!

 Back to School  Julie Keefe and Caldera participated in our back to school night by providing an interactive photo booth for families to enjoy.  The Caldera theme this year is The Sun, and with props and hand written signs describing themselves in relationship to the Sun, families were able to take home a keepsake from this fun evening.

Silver Falls Field Trip  Julie joined Peninsula’s 3rd/4th grade classes on a field trip to Silver Falls.  Caldera students documented their experiences with photography and created an amazing photomontage of their experience, many who had never camped before!

Depave Project Peninsula joined the DePave Project and now have more green space in our playground areas.  Julie and the Caldera students documented the day’s event.

Visit to Open Meadow Mural Painting Julie joined Lori Shippy’s 5th grade art class on a walking field trip to the mural created on the Open Meadow campus by the artist, INSA.  Caldera students in the group documented the day and interviewed this world famous artist.

5th Grade Fence Beautification  Julie Keefe and Caldera are working with Peninsula 5th graders to create an artistic outdoor space near the playground.  Students brainstormed ways to beautify the chain link fence and will collaborate with Caldera artists to create a sundial and outdoor reading areas.  This project was developed through S2S and will engage Peninsula’s entire 5th grade classes.

Caldera Fallen Fruit and Peninsula Harvest Fair: Julie Keefe and Lori Shippy met with about 30 students, parents, grandparents and volunteers in the Kenton neighborhood on a beautiful October day and together, they took the Max train to the opening of Fallen Fruit at the Portland Art Museum.  Students took part in art activities within the museum, including a primal call and a collage explosion, then walked around downtown participating in the various Fallen Fruit activities scattered around the city.  Photos on bikes, speaking to the river and learning various handshakes were just some of the exciting adventures.

Julie also recruited students over Veteran’s Day to “get to know your city” by exploring the Portland Art Museum, taking a street car to the Caldera exhibit at Weiden and Kennedy and making a visit to Powell’s Books, a highlight for many of our students who had never visited.

Harvest Fair is a lively tradition at Peninsula and Julie Keefe with Caldera provided students creative opportunities to continue the Fallen Fruit theme.  Julie and artist Larry Yes, helped students paint wooden boards that will surround and protect the young sapling fruit trees being planted around the Peninsula neighborhood.  These apple inspired or free tree encouraging notes are colorfully decorated and helped encourage the literacy component that accompanies all our art projects. Parents came and planted trees just in time for the Fall rains.  Julie continued the apple theme with compelling journal entries students wrote on the journey of an apple from seed to fruit.  What does it need to grow? What do pesticides do?  How much time does it take to fruit?

We have on the horizon a S2S Skit/Play for 5th-8th graders about race and the everyday tensions of a being a child of color.  We’re excited to introduce theatre to the school.

We’re also working on collaborating with PNCA art students to engage and adopt this school allowing them to have a ongoing presence at Peninsula after S2S.  We’d want to establish a Museum of Modern Art at the school that would allow Peninsula students and mentoring college art students a place to connect and talk about the power of ART.