Letter: A student masterpiece, thanks to a mosaic of help  

The Headwaters/Rappahannock County Public Schools After School Program just finished its third session at Rappahannock County Elementary School and many students participated in a special project. More than 18 second- through seventh-graders worked twice a week for more than nine weeks to create an exquisite fused-glass mosaic. The project was supported by the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) through its Claudia Mitchell Fund and by Headwaters; work began in September. Glass artist Patti Brennan, assisted by Carolyn Manwaring, lead the project.

Students work on their Headwaters-  and Claudia Mitchell Fund-sponsored mosaic project. Courtesy photo
Students work on their Headwaters- and Claudia Mitchell Fund-sponsored mosaic project. Courtesy photo.

Students studied ancient mosaics and similar works from all over the world. They then created pencil drawings and started a design that many students could work on all at once. After the pencil drawings were finalized, they developed patterns and worked with cut paper to better understand the mosaic process. Dragonflies became the theme for this creation. The swirling patterns around the dragonflies were shapes from nature, and students used gradation, value and color to create the patterns.

The finished work is on view at Union First Market Bank.
The finished work is on view at Union First Market Bank.

They then transferred their drawings to three individual pieces of backer board, after which Brennan fused every piece of glass in her kiln to soften the sharp edges. The three panels were mounted and beautifully framed by Donald Mullan (Brennan’s generous husband), and the finished work is on display in the lobby of Union First Market Bank and will move to the elementary school for a permanent location.

Thanks to RAAC and the Claudia Mitchell Fund, Headwaters, principal Cathy Jones, Dabney Kirchman and our talented students for making the magic. The mosaic was created by Nicholas Plaksin, Gemma Linden, Carolyn Chambers, Maeve Cuiba, Garret Smoot, Cody Hayes, Bella Hayes, Abby Taylor, Maggie Taylor, Jaden Cillo, Natalya White, Jaesan Yates, Grace Raiford, Chloe Eu- chus, Mary Jenkins, Nate Smith, Allison Wharton and Ninon Kirchman.

Thanks also to Brittany Dwyer, Dot Lessard and Liz Blubaugh for all their help. The After School Program, also in its third year, is generously supported by Headwaters and many, many individuals in our community, as well as Union First Market Bank, REC, The Greve Foundation, Cheri Woodard Realty, Thornton River Group and the Miller Foundation. Thank you to Rappahannock County Public Schools for their support, facilities and amazing students. Thanks to everyone and in particular, RAAC, for making great things like this happen!

Jane Bowling-Wilson
Executive director, Headwaters Foundation

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