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The Only Record of Our Adventure

Luca Lee H.
Eleventh Grade
Nicolet High Schoo

The story featured in this video was inspired by the 1871 Jonathan Eastman Johnson painting, The Old Stage Coach. It brings to light what we've seen for years with this conference. While students tour the museum they often say, "I had forgotten that story in my life until I saw that painting." That is one of the many beauties of this conference. Where do the students' story ideas come from? The museum's art. Students tour the museum with a small group looking for a piece of art that reminds them of a story from their life. It's the collaborative conversations that often spark the creative juices. Enjoy Luca's story about an adventure that was once lost, but now is found. 

The Artists

While the writers are writing, the young artists are documenting the day in a very different medium. Students create a sketch, a photograph, or a work in 3D. They will be coached by some of Southeastern Wisconsin's most talented teachers. The museum’s art inspires many young artists while others draw their inspiration from the young authors themselves. All participating artists are expected to bring a sketchbook and pencil for the day's work. Additional materials will be available for the final artwork submission.

Samples of Students' Art

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Left, Tia T., Grade 11, Montello High School. Inspired by Jules Bastien-Lepage’s Le Père Jacques (The Wood Gatherer), 1881

While some students' art is inspired by the museum's art, others are inspired by the young authors writing and fellow artists sketching. Kendal was inspired by all of the above. 

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Artist, Kendel D., Kettle Moraine School District

Elementary Example of a finished piece:
"Zoo of Parents"

This story by 5th grader Courtney M. was inspired by the 1650 painting by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Noah and the Animals Entering the Ark. Courtney told us on the day of the conference that she had forgotten the event she wrote about and the details until she stood in front of the painting that was created hundreds of years ago. While the intent of the painting has nothing to do with Christmas, it was the animals' expressions that sparked her memory.  That connection is what led her to write the story about Christmas morning and all the small moments that came with it: family members rising and the anticipation of opening presents. Enjoy this beautiful anecdote inspired by an ancient story.

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