Nature and Art Education in Cushing

The Georges River Land Trust has partnered with the Cushing Community School to develop a new after school program at the Langlais Sculpture Preserve. Beginning with an introduction and tour of the six Langlais sculptures that are on permanent display at the school, children are learning about the connection to nature and art through the conservation efforts of the Georges River Land Trust.

Dawn Jones, Principal of Cushing Community School, is excited to be a part of this unique learning experience for her students. “It was wonderful for our students to learn about Bernard Langlais, and to realize that artwork they see everyday was created by someone famous from their hometown. Students will be looking at it with new eyes, knowing the stories behind the pieces.”

Recognizing the need for a local after school enrichment program, Cynthia Trone, staff member at Georges River Land Trust, wrote and received generous grants from the The Bruce F. and Mary Nell Currie Fund and Avangrid (Central Maine Power) to launch a weekly nature and art project-based program at the Langlais Sculpture Preserve.

As the Langlais Preserve is the third largest of the Land Trust’s preserves, with 90 acres of land along with the homestead, studios and collection of Langlais’ artwork, children will enjoy environmental education, art projects, literature, outdoor exploration, visiting artists and nutritious snacks. The program will begin in March and run through May, at no cost for Cushing families. Avis Turner, a local artist with more than 30 years of teaching experience, will be leading the program.

Jones comments, “The new afterschool program at Langlais is a wonderful enrichment opportunity for Cushing’s children. The chance to explore the outdoors and find inspiration in nature for their own art will be lots of fun. We also know that developing creativity and building confidence bring so many other benefits that spill over into other parts of children’s lives, including learning and academic growth.”