Kathleen Peters Creates Several Paintings for District
ENFIELD — A local artist, driven by a calling to use her talents for healing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and political division, is working with Mascoma Valley students through an artist in residency program and crafting several original works for the district.
Kathleen Peters, local artist of Canaan and district parent, initially approached the district with the hope of creating a COVID-19 memorial painting for the high school. From those initial conversations, the district invited her to take part in an Artist in Residency program (AiR). Peters partnered with Jason Jarvis, an art teacher at the Canaan Elementary and Enfield Village Schools, to develop a curriculum for elementary school students through which they explore how artists use visual metaphors to communicate ideas.
Mascoma Valley Regional School District’s AiR program has been running for over a decade, and is overseen by its unified arts teachers.
Peters worked with students in kindergarten through fourth grade at the Enfield Village School from March 8-19. She spent two weeks working with students at the school during their art classes, and each student had four opportunities to work on an art project led by Peters. While at the school she also worked on a painting, “The Winter Wren,” in the lobby during which students and staff also had the opportunity to chat with her about her work and ask questions. The painting features a winter wren, a local bird that has a loud, bubbly song and represents how ordinary creatures can have powerful, positive, beautiful impacts through their “voices.”
The Enfield Village School will be keeping another painting by Peters of the summit of Mt. Cardigan. The painting shows trees growing on the mountain top, symbolizing how people must reach within, past negative emotions to find love, patience and gentleness to foster a strong community.
“Although this has been a challenging year, we are so very fortunate to not only enjoy the beauty of Kathleen’s artwork on our walls, but we get to witness, first hand, Kathleen’s skills and her love of creating art,” Jarvis said. “Mrs. Peters has been absolutely wonderful with each one of our students. I appreciate her flexibility to adapt to our school’s COVID regulations; it allowed us to create a great opportunity to strengthen our community and to provide a great experience for our students.”
Peters will also join students at Canaan Elementary School late this April.
Peters has also created a COVID-19 memorial painting called “Our Hearts Are Bleeding” for Mascoma Valley Regional High School and is actively seeking a sponsor to support the work.
Once a sponsor is identified the work is intended to be showcased at Mascoma Valley Regional High School. It features dicentra flowers, commonly known as bleeding hearts. The painting features a sprig of white flowers representing the lives lost in the community to COVID-19 and the rest of the flowers are pink, each heart representing individuals in the community. The stems show the interconnectedness of the community.
“My artwork is more than just a collection of pretty objects. It is beauty and love made tangible, not to avoid or ignore the brokenness around us, but to speak into it,” Peters said. “My work is my gift to my community; it is intended to offer hope, peace, unity and grace. It is intended to build connection and relationship, and to give value and dignity to all. It is meant to be a conduit through which goodness can shine and care can be given. I am both honored and humbled to be able to serve the Mascoma School District with my work.”
Peters also plans to work on a painting at her next AiR at Canaan Elementary School titled “Cairns of Hope.” The painting will feature a cairn on top of Mt. Cardigan, with the intended message to be an inspiration to the community to extend hope and care for one another when difficult situations are thrown their way.