Radcliffe Creek School students ‘experience’ Monet in 3D

CHESTERTOWN — Earlier this month, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Radcliffe Creek School explored Washington to, quite literally, step into the paintings of an artist they have been studying this year, Claude Monet.

On May 16, two dozen RCS students traveled by bus to the Rhode Island Center to experience the immersive Monet exhibit.

The exhibit included two-story projections of Monet’s most compelling paintings shown in three dimensions, including lights, sounds and VR (virtual reality) technology.

Following the visit to the digital art display, they picnicked at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, the only national park dedicated to the preservation of aquatic plants. Inspired by the scene around them, the students sat by the pond dotted with water lilies while drawing in sketchbooks.

“The exhibit was exhilarating, and the children all expressed how they felt they were ‘in the art they learned of,’” art teacher Rebecca Emory said in a news release.

“I watched one student so moved by the beauty in Monet’s paintings that he cried,” Emory said. “Afterward, to end the day sitting by the pond, where the students found places to sketch quietly before congregating to share and study nature together, was a unique opportunity as well.”

Emory said the trip was one of her favorite days as a teacher at Radcliffe Creek School.

An Arts in Education grant provided by the Kent Cultural Alliance and a private donation from a student’s grandparents funded the trip to the Monet exhibit.

Radcliffe Creek School’s No Child Left Indoors initiative, which is supported by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation, paid for the visit to the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, where they studied the natural beauty that so often inspired Monet and other artists.

Head of School Peter Thayer said in the news release: “When students are given the opportunity to experience things in three dimensions and move around inside an artist’s paintings, or to draw and picnic at an outdoor scene that would have inspired an artist, their eyes light up.

“These are the types of immersive experiences that really bring learning to life. Especially for our students, who rely on the multi-sensory instruction we offer at Radcliffe Creek every day, this type of trip is especially important. We are grateful to the Kent Cultural Alliance, the Robert F. Schumann Foundation and the anonymous donors who made these experiences possible.”

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