Jun 18, 2010 Caitlin Donnelly Uncategorized
Students in the Ray Middle School YMCA after-school program recently completed a quilt panel to be used in the Dream Rocket project, an international art collaboration based in Huntsville, Alabama.
The 11 sixth grade students have worked together on the 2ft. by 2ft. panel for the past two months under the direction of YMCA site coordinator Renee Storiale and site assistant, Rose Whitford. Each week, the group added a new component to their American flag design, whether it was brainstorming, sewing, painting or writing.
The completed panel will be sent in to the Dream Rocket project later this month, where it will be added to a quilt of more than 8,000 mixed media panels from all 50 states and at least 100 countries under the watchful eye of artist and project creator, Jennifer Marsh. The quilt will then be used to wrap the 37 story Saturn V Rocket replica at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. This is the same rocket that launched the first astronaut trip to the moon.
“The project has given us a great opportunity to talk about world issues and interdependence,” Storiale said. “It’s opened their eyes to following their dreams and dreaming the impossible, which the project’s theme is based on.”
On each stripe of the American flag design, the students wrote their dreams for the future while sticking to the core values of the YMCA program: respect, responsibility, caring and honesty.
“I will ensure freedom by never taking anything for granted,” wrote Colin Talty.
“Nothing is impossible, not even going to Mars,” wrote Nicholas Barone.
And Maryn Margrey wrote, “The future depends on us!”
All the materials used in making the panel, including the $100 participation fee, were donated. After realizing the high cost of registration, Storiale applied for a scholarship through the Dream Rocket project, which paired the group with sponsor Marie Vaughn.
“We were very fortunate for our group to be chosen for a scholarship,” said Whitford.
In an email to Storiale, Vaughn described the vision she had for the panel design, which was then carried out by the students.
“We picked the flag because it’s an American icon,” said Barone. “It goes along with equality and being American.”
In the end, all the students agreed that their favorite parts of the project were sewing on their dreams for the future and working together to complete the panel.
Marsh, a former Syracuse University fine arts graduate student, will wrap the Dream Rocket in May 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s announcement of the United States’ intention to send a man to the moon in 1961. Marsh is the same artist that wrapped the 50-year-old Citgo gas station on Nottingham Road in Syracuse in 2008. Both projects are part of the International Fiber Collaborative, a non-profit organization that “promotes global collaborative public art initiatives, a marriage of art & education,” according to the official website. The IFC was founded by Marsh in 2007.
For more information on the Dream Rocket, visit Thedreamrocket.com. To register for a YMCA program, call Lesley Grants at 635-1050.
Students display their completed panel for the Dream Rocket project. Top row (from left): Colin Talty, Owen Conlon, Nicholas Barone, YMCA site assistant Rose Whitford. Bottom (from left): Andrew Carpenter, Mariah Armstrong, Maddy Sears and YMCA site coordinator Renee Storiale. Not pictured: Maryn Margrey, Morgan Burton, Julia Woodridge, Heide Lauer and Carl Livingston.