Creative SPLASH! Opens at

Lisa Mechaley, with HHLT, looks on as 11 year-olds Kaelin Martin and Anna Kunz make the first artistic contributions

The Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) hosted the opening reception for the 2nd Annual Creative SPLASH! on Sunday, April 10 at the offices, 69 Main St., Cold Spring. Sponsored this year through the generosity of Central Hudson Gas & Electric, the reception featured a reading of selected student works by award-winning poet Irene O’Garden and a gallery of student artwork. The Creative SPLASH! exhibit is open each weekday from 3-5 p.m. through Friday, April 15.
       HHLT executive director, Andy Chmar said, “We are delighted to be on Cold Spring’s Main Street thanks to the hospitality of Gordon Stewart and his staff—they have allowed us to take over much of the office space to showcase the work of local students created through our River of Words program.  The location also helps strengthen partnerships with Habitat for Artists and Cold Spring Radio.  It all emphasizes the value that this community and its residents place on the beauty and natural resources of our own special area.”

Irene O'Garden "on air" at Cold Spring Radio with Sam Tallerico

Creative SPLASH!, is a celebration of nature-inspired poetry and art, highlighting the work of students from Haldane, Garrison, Fort Montgomery/Highland Falls and Cornwall elementary and middle schools.  The work displayed is the result of a series of free enrichment workshops brought to students in four local school districts over the span of a full year by the HHLT’s Hudson Highlands Regional River of Words (ROW) Program.  Summer art workshops were co-presented with Habitat for Artists (HFA), an artist-run group that explores the nature of creativity and the role of the artist in our communities. Irene O’Gardner, who led the workshops, said, “I love seeing the kids’ enthusiasm as they create poetry and art about the river and the woods. Even more delightful are their beaming faces (and those of their parents) when they see their work exhibited and hear their poems read on the radio.”

Jack Revkin and Jason Zielinski examine the exhibit closely

Co-founded by US Poet Laureate Robert Hass, and affiliated with the Library of Congress Center for the Book, ROW strives to incorporate observation-based nature exploration and the arts into traditional education.  In addition to helping improve children’s literacy, and cognitive skills like investigation and critical thinking, ROW’s multidisciplinary, hands-on approach to education nurtures students’ creative voices as well, through instruction and practice in art and poetry. “We’re proud to sponsor Hudson Highlands Land Trust’s educational programs, as they have a positive influence on students from across the Hudson Valley,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson.
Photos courtesy of HHLT and M. Turton

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