Madison Montessori School

The Collaborative Process

In the beginning, it took a leap of faith for the artists to work with us. We were enthusiastic about our big idea, but we had nothing to show them that could persuade them of the great experience that would await working with preschool children. We persevered that first year and were rewarded beyond belief. The generosity of our community and all who become involved with Genuine Art is something for which we are extremely grateful.

Excerpts from Sandy DeCristofaro, Artist, speaking about her involvement with Genuine Art –

“Ten years ago, I began an unexpected and thoroughly charming tenure with an unpredictable group of absolute strangers. This collection included shy personalities, those with curious natures, and some spirited souls willing to jump into novel activities. In an atmosphere of awe and with some trepidation, I found myself surrounded by two- and three-year olds who were ready to experience the creation of original work, inaugurating a program called Genuine Art.

“Originally, I had no firm relationship with the school, but after my initial meeting and brainstorming session with Terry Armstrong, I was totally engaged with the idea. I was hooked. Often children are dismissed as being too young to understand art. But for the past decade, Genuine Art has dispelled that perception and very happily demonstrated that with imagination and encouragement, everyone can participate in the creation of beautiful things. As a direct result of this collaboration, we professional artists can become transformed too. Little hands always seem to yield big results. And when their projects are completed and ready for public viewing, my own work improves for having been influenced by the innocent joy of making art.”

Genuine Art from a parent’s perspective –

Hi Terry and Kathy,

We just wanted to let you and everyone else who made Genuine Art possible know how very happy we are about the “Children of the Garden” structure by Linda Evans we bought. It is now standing in our sun room and glittering in the sun (well, if there is any) and we all stop to look at it whenever we pass. It even helps to calm a crying baby!

It is so special for us to know how many large and small hands have touched and made this piece of art. What an amazing and genuine creation, to turn Linda’s inspiration with the help of all children, teachers and volunteers into such a beautiful and elaborate piece!

We have also developed our very own interpretation of what it means to us … For us, it is what Madison Montessori School has been giving to our children: A very solid frame, anchored into the ground, structuring and upholding them. And growing on that strong frame are all their creative, quirky, whimsical, curious, wonderful and unique ideas, shining and dancing with joy in the sunlight.

“Children of the Garden” is such an uplifting piece of art – it makes us happy whenever we look at it! As happy as our children and we are each time we enter into MMS …

Thank you so much for having made this possible, for all the work that Kathleen and Cathleen, Terry, the teachers and staff, the children and volunteers at MMS put into Genuine Art all year long – sharing so many creative moments, but surely also overcoming quite some challenges. This work of art is unique and touching and so very special for us!

See you soon,
Ulli and Romain