About the AIS Program The Artists in Schools Program places professional artists in a wide variety of
educational and community settings in order to expose students, teachers and
community members to various art forms – and the amazing potential of the
The artist’s presence is a catalyst for learning, fosters a greater awareness of the
role of artists and the arts in our society, and helps participants develop
confidence in their own ability to communicate through the arts.
Participants develop decision-making and critical assessment skills and
enhance their ability to think “outside the box,” a life skill sure to benefit
both the individual and our society.
Pamela's Residencies The AIS program provides a wonderful venue to bring fiber art into the public forum. The opportunities for teaching and experiencing weaving, spinning, dyeing and/or felting are becoming increasingly less available in communities as community schools and universities are closing their doors to the fiber arts programs. Consequently, exposing fiber art to the public is relegated to quick “demonstrations” during community events that fall short of providing any educational depth and understanding. I support the AIS mission of providing direct access and opportunities to all art forms.
Reciprocity is a natural and welcomed event in any educational experience. Students unknowingly bring a fresh, sometimes new perspective that enriches the experience of all who participate. While impossible to predict exactly how my work will benefit, I know intrinsically that my work can’t help but be deepened in knowledge and complexity by the actions and feedback by those who participate. A small comment or even an objection can serve to shed new light on some element of color, design or technique that previously was taken for granted or misunderstood.
Depending upon student age and class size, I can bring hands-on weaving, spinning, dyeing and/or felting opportunities for students to create individual projects, a class-room or a school-wide project. Examples of felting include felting large items such as a yurt, to small individual pieces such as wall hangings, vessels or masks. Weaving projects for the older students entail elements of design and color that can result in hand-woven wall hangings or cloth for utilitarian uses. Students can also learn how to spin yarn on hand spindles, appreciating the pre-industrial tool that put cloth on the backs of humanity for centuries. These hand-spun yarns can then by dyed in a rainbow of earthly colors using natural dye pigments.
Above all, students will gain an appreciation for the work they create from their own hands. Designing and implementing their design will reinforce the properties of math and time management. By using only natural fibers (wool, silk, cotton, linen) the students will learn more about the properties of plant and animal fibers, their historical use and the appropriate application of each. Should natural dyeing be taught, students will explore a variety of natural dyes from plants and insects. They will learn scientific information about these specific dye stuffs, their historical significance and gain a further appreciation of our natural world.