Friday, April 29, 2011

Champlain goes to School

When I was dropping my son off at our local elementary school this morning a piece of public art caught my eye. I must admit that I have admired this particular piece of art for some time but, I have never had a camera with me to take a photograph. When you walk into the main foyer at Champlain Elementary School in Granville Ferry you are greeted by a charming gentleman clad in a early 17th century costume. He sits in a small boat accompanied by a black cat and a mouse that rests on the brim of his hat. Perhaps greeted is too strong of a word because this particular gentleman and his companions are made of papier mache.

The gentleman in question is, of course, a likeness of Samuel de Champlain for whom the school is named. When you look around the walls of the foyer you see that Champlain also has cod, a sea serpent and a large sun wearing a pair of shades as papier mache companions. The artwork was created by local papier mache artist Rion Microys with help from students at the school. This really is a very impressive installation. In addition to being a set of very cheerful images, I have frequently seen both children and adults interacting with the artwork. The bench surrounding the boat almost acts as a magnet for people. How nice to be able to have a conversation or to gain an education under the watchful eye of the Father of New France. I will get photographs of the other elements for a future post.

All for now,
RGS

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