Member Kudos: Allen Park Public Schools

DashBoard, Aug. 3, 2016

Submitted by Barbara Zdrodowski Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent

In June, Lindemann Elementary in Allen Park Public Schools was the first school in Michigan to participate in the Art for the Sky program. Students at Lindemann became a living piece of art, visible only from the sky, with the help of artist Daniel Dancer. Dancer has been creating Sky Art for more than 30 years all over the United States, Canada and in countries such as Holland, Australia and India to name a few. This opportunity was made available through a grant funded by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and due to the extraordinary efforts of Rachel Trapani, APPS Art Teacher.

In order to select the focus of the living painting, Trapani had students choose a pool of eight endangered species living in Michigan. She then conducted a vote to narrow the choices to two—Lake Sturgeon and the Kirtland's Warbler—students decided on the latter. "The state of Michigan has basically saved this bird; it really only nests in northern Michigan and a little bit in Wisconsin," Trapani said. "Protected areas were created upstate and the population rebounded. There were only a couple hundred and now there are thousands. It's almost off the endangered species list."  A Michigan-based activist group called the Kirtland's Warbler Initiative offered support upon learning of the school's efforts to raise awareness about the endangered bird.

Students were assigned shirt colors to correspond with the colors of the image in order to create the living painting, i.e., each student was a "pixel."

Culminating video clip of project

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