In Spring 2019, Conant’s fourth graders created a Legacy Project, led by art teacher Pennie Ellis. With grant monies from the BHS Foundation, Ellis’ art students designed a collaborative mural to be installed at Bowers Farm. The original installation, which occurred before Spring 2020, had some tile issues, so the project was removed. Then COVID hit, placing the re-installation on pause. Now, you can see this beautiful tile mosaic at Bowers Farm, located in the learning center building in the hall facing the glass-walled classroom on the main floor.
Ellis shares, “It's a rebirth kind of story that's symbolic of our return to ‘normal’ learning. For many years, I've done my Legacy Project (a group art project on permanent display) with the oldest grade at Conant. Most of them are at Conant, but I also have one at the township library and now this one. This project was a great problem-solving challenge for the children who brainstormed what kinds of images they wanted to represent from the farm and how to go about making them. They researched their animals and plants, prepared sketches, and then created them in low-relief with earthenware clay. After the bisque firing, the children used a unifying color scheme and glazed them for the final firing. The tiles and the mural came out beautifully. I think it's going to be a really nice connection for the children when they return to the farm to visit and learn.”
Twins Jordyn and Leah Goldstein, currently in grade 8, but 4th-graders during the project creation, thoroughly enjoyed the artistic process. Jordyn notes, “My favorite part of making the mural was getting to work with clay. It was something I looked forward to every year, and it allowed me to be creative in a different way. I think it is really neat that there is a lasting piece of art at the farm that our grade was a part of creating, one that we can go and enjoy seeing years from now.” Both Jordyn and Leah created tiles with peacocks. Leah shares, “I thought that it was so cool and unique that our farm had peacocks, unlike many other farms in Michigan. My favorite part of making the tile mural was getting to put my love of art, and one of my pieces, out into the world. I really enjoyed that project, and I can’t wait to see it now that it is installed.”