Dunbar Elementary School third graders exhibit their self-portraits at Newfield Branch Library after completing a Literary and Visual Arts program where Silvermine’s Teaching Artists collaborated with classroom teachers.
NEW CANAAN, CT, May 15, 2023—Students from Dunbar Elementary School are currently being celebrated at the Newfield Branch Library in an exhibit of third grade self-portraits recently completed through a collaboration with the Silvermine Art Partners Outreach Program. The student works on view are part of a Literacy and Visual Arts program focusing on mixed media and poetry. The public is invited to view the exhibition which runs through May 30.
Silvermine has been a dedicated partner to a number of Bridgeport public schools and recently completed “Me, Myself and Eye,” a third grade Literacy and Visual Arts residency at Dunbar Elementary School. As spring is traditionally poetry season, the program tied a visual art program to a literacy workshop that focused on writing reflective poems. “I am” poems allowed each child to learn how their words could be a parallel form of expression to their fine art.
“Art Partners is always thrilled to be able to offer our signature “Me, Myself and Eye” self-portrait program,” said Silvermine Art Center’s Outreach Coordinator Missy Savard. “The program inspires young students to celebrate each other and all that makes each of them special. The students always impress us with their extremely thoughtful and sensitive work.”
New to this partnership is the connection to the Newfield Library, which is adjacent to the school. Twenty-eight mixed media self-portraits are on display at the newly renovated East-end branch library located at 755 Central Avenue in Bridgeport. The new state-of-the-art library with its light-filled spaces is a welcoming hub for accessing books, technology, programs, and events. New features include an outdoor Reading Terrace and a homework room where students in Grade 8 or younger are invited to use computers to work on assignments.
The library staff designed and installed the exhibition in the Youth Library Room and is encouraging the public to visit and view the artworks on display. Youth Services Librarian Alexis Young created a special binder highlighting the poems and portraits for visitors to peruse. “Part of the Bridgeport Public Library’s mission is to promote literacy in all its forms and to connect communities. The Literacy and Visual Arts Program that Dunbar students are a part of with Silvermine is an amazing opportunity for the students. We are excited to share in this opportunity to showcase their work here at the Newfield Library,” said Nykia Eaddy, Newfield Branch Manager.5
Serving over 2,000 at-risk urban youth annually, the Art Partners Outreach Program helps to close Connecticut’s educational achievement gap—one of the largest in the nation—by providing access to the arts and unique enrichment programs designed specifically to target critical student needs. Silvermine’s programs have a proven track record of fully engaging students in the advancement of critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration, supporting better academic achievement and life skills.