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Montclair Public Schools
Edgemont Montessori School
Principal: Ms. Cheryl Hopper
20 Edgemont Road, Montclair, NJ 07042
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Edgemont 3rd Graders Visit MAM for African-American History Month

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

On February 14, the third graders from Edgemont Montessori school went on a field trip to view the paintings and discuss the artwork of  Philemona Williamson, Romare Bearden and Faith Ringgold. 

Students discussed the basis for artwork on quilts, such as "Tar Beach." They discussed the history of quilting and how Black History can affect the medium and the drawings of African American artists. Before going on the field trip, students read books by Faith Ringgold and they read Amistad Rising, so they were delighted to see a collage by Romare Bearden called Cinque (Slave Ship) 1977. 

Philemona Williamson, renowned contemporary artist, Montclair resident and former Edgemont parent, has created dynamic paintings fraught with mystery and universal significance. Poetically titled, these works invited the 3rd grade viewers to use their imaginations to try to decipher their complex narratives.

What a treat it was to also view an actual quilt made by Faith Ringgold, especially after reading Tar Beach. Many students may have preferred to be on a beach on this cold day in February, but at Edgemont the next best thing was a field trip for Black History month.

Students were inspired by the collage of Cinque and the Slave Ship, 1977 (Bearden) and off they went to participate in their own little Harlem Renaissance right there at the MAM.  There was a flurry of activity as students used African patterns and shapes of famous musicians to create their collages as jazz played softly in the background.

 3rd graders creating collages.              Examples of collages created by students.

Updated: 8/18/2018