Tonight, the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence hosted the Bread Loaf Family Literacy Night from 5:30-7 p.m., at the B&G Clubhouse located at 136 Water St. The youth members gathered with their family and friends to show off the crow art installation and other crow-related projects before the families sit down to work on a new project together. As BGCL Education Director Karen Kravchuk noted, the event is for club families only. In addition to writing about two characteristics of crows, they also unveiled an awesome art installation 17 of their 2nd-5th grade members have been working on the past four Friday afternoons with staff from LA House.

They served a light supper starting at 5:30 PM, and then by 5:50 PM they started the hour of family writing and sharing at the microphone. Two of our own high school members (who are Bread Loaf writing leaders) have been working with Lou Bernieri to create two wonderful writing prompts for the families. They are exquisite writers themselves. At the end, they talked about our crow art project.  Here is Karen providing a very warm welcome to all!

Here are the young members lining up at the microphone to share from the provided prompts after discussion with parents!

Here is Lou with two of the very talented high school writers who are Bread Loaf writing leaders!

As many locals know, to honor the natural beauty and amazing uniqueness of the annual winter crow roost in the City of Lawrence, the Essex Art Center has been hosting a new exhibit this year titled “Celebrating the Winter Crow Roost” in its three galleries. The exhibit includes 25 matted and framed photographs of Crows in the local area, stunning videography, and original works about Crows from local artists.

During the past five weeks, young artists, members of the Boys and Girls Club, aged 7 to 11, joined high school writing leaders from the Phillips Academy Andover Breadloaf program, as well as staff from the Lawrence Arts House to create this Crow Show.

This remarkable collaboration aimed to provide an artistic and creative response to the celebration of Crows hosted by the Essex Art Center, which provided the inspiration for so many local artists at all ages and skill levels.

For the hanging Crows, each artist created the skeleton of a Crow with wire and cardboard.  Once the structure was ready, they used newspaper to fill in the bodies of the Crows, giving shape and covering with tape. Lastly, feathers were added to give them a more realistic look. Bringing each Crow into existence gave the artists an opportunity to reflect on how unique each one of us are, not only as an artist but also as individuals.  They celebrated the important role they play as members of a community and all that they have to offer to make the world a better place for all!

These young artists explored themes of community, family, and collaboration through writing prompts and learning new art techniques, following in the footsteps of the presenting artists at the Essex Art Center. Their creative courage and willingness to explore new areas of artistic expression, opened up a space where
they viewed their city as a home for all of the humans and creatures that live and pass through the city.

Like the Art Center exhibit in all three galleries, the work by these young artists, helps them to explore and better appreciate the beauty and majesty of nature in their own backyard!

Karen Kravchuk and Jarad Harris, and their extended staff team, deserve great credit for pulling this entire program together with help from Lou Bernieri and his talented local Bread Loaf writing leaders.  At the end of the evening, it was smiles all around as the young members enjoyed themselves and their family members were delighted in the great work and nice team effort to celebrate the wintering crows! Photo below: Jarad, Lou, Karen, and Craig