Carol Krentzman, founder of the Mosaic Art Institute of Natick, has been teaching mosaics to scholars at McAuliffe for 18 years. This year, in an effort that exemplifies the HOWLs (Habits of Work and Learning), Carol guided scholars in the completion of a 2-year project, resulting in a large, stunning mosaic which was mounted in the school cafe this week. HOWLs such as perseverance, responsibility, and collaboration brought the scholars together in ways that were not anticipated when the project began in the fall of 2019.
Maya Z., a current 8th grader at McAuliffe, was involved with the project from its inception. She explained that they wanted to create a large school project to complement the one done by some of their siblings four years prior. After much discussion, scholars decided upon the theme of HOWLs which led to the concept of wolves howling. Carol brought the idea to a local artist, Jason Cheeseman-Meyer (who taught drawing in the 2019-2020 school year) and together they came up with a few designs to present for review. The accepted design included two wolves howling at the moon with a space shuttle flying across the night sky as a tribute to Christa McAuliffe, the teacher and astronaut who was part of the Challenger Crew disaster in 1986.
The HOWLs mosaic was expected to be completed in 2020 but was thwarted by the pandemic. At the end of April 2021, when scholars returned to school full-time, Carol returned to complete the project. The now 7th and 8th graders graciously welcomed the 6th graders to collaborate with them. Nathan O., a current 6th grader, took particular interest and pride in cutting and gluing tiny glass pieces to add to the beautiful landscape.
We are honored to have this exquisite mosaic, completed by scholars with community support displayed in the building. This piece of art, representing core principles of our school community, and honoring the person for whom our school was named, will be cherished for many years to come.