Afternoon Outing

Students LEAP to Crary Art Gallery

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Gabby (left) and Isabelle Amoroso pick out some of the many animals in a charcoal river scene on a 14-foot scroll that is part of Wendy Bale’s exhibit at the Crary Art Gallery.

Students in the Warren County School District’s Learning Enrichment Afternoon Program learned about art and the environment during a Tuesday outing.

More than 60 students going into grades kindergarten through five in LEAP visited the Crary Art Gallery.

There, they enjoyed the works in the Riparian Zone: Up and Down the Riverbank by Wendy and Sandhill Bill Bale of Jamestown, N.Y.

A riparian zone is the area that borders a river or other body of water.

Wendy Bale’s works are in cut paper and charcoal. Her subjects in the Riparian Zone include many familiar animals and plants that one might see in Warren County.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Mackenzie Amoroso gets eye-level with the “river” in one of Sandhill Bill Bale’s pieces of Riparian Zone art furniture at the Crary Art Gallery.

For the show, Sandhill Bill Bale cut slabs of wood down the middle then turned the outside edges — the uneven parts that are often cut off and discarded — inward and used them as the riverbanks in his riparian zone art.

The students spent an hour and a half at the gallery.

They watched an introductory video about the artists and what they do, then moved around the gallery, taking in the works — both those in the show and those that are fixtures at the gallery. The students also worked on coloring pages created by Wendy Bale based on pieces in the show.

The “defining piece” in the show, according to Wendy Bale, is a 14-foot scroll river scene in charcoal that features numerous species of animals.

The show opened on July 10 and will close Aug. 1.

“I’m incorporating art and music throughout the program,” LEAP Program Director Jen Check said. “This was one opportunity we had. They’re so kind to do this.”

The students enjoyed the outing. “They seem pretty excited about it,” Check said.

LEAP was started with the goals of providing additional enrichment opportunities to students in the 21st Century Program.

“With the closures of the schools due to COVID last year, there is a push to keep students from experiencing the typical ‘summer slide’ and LEAP was created this year to offer a fun, activity-based approach to focus on math and reading skills,” she said.


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