Last week, we shared some great moments from the Kids Images of Arlington (IOA) 5th grade art exhibit and opening reception awards ceremony. Today, I want to share a small subset of images with a big story to tell.
Each year, Arlington’s 5th graders are asked to choose something they think is special or important about Arlington, and then to create a piece of art depicting their own special piece of A-Town. The children’s artwork is always a wonderful, colorful, exuberant, and sometimes poignant look at the town through the eyes of our kids.
This year, a number of students in the Thompson School district chose to pay tribute to Thompson in their artwork, creating a moving mini-exhibit that marks the end of an era in Arlington. When the town made the decision to rebuild Thompson, this group of 5th graders were moved to the Bishop School, where they will graduate this spring. But for many, their hearts are still at Thompson.
Pamina Mejia, “Thompson School.” Pamina says, “Thompson was torn down and I wanted to honor Thompson School in a Special Way.”
Max Fritsch, “Torn Down Thompson.” In his artist statement, Max wrote, “I used to go to Thompson. When I heard it was getting torn down, I grew very sad.”
Nicholas Laroche, “Thompson School.” “Thompson was my old school,” says Nicholas, “and it means a lot to me because I never got to graduate from Thompson.”
Eleanor Leto, “My Side of the Story.” Eleanor says, “I chose this subject because the Thompson School is where I grew up. I have learned to love this school, so I thought I should draw it.”
Ethan Moore, The Awesome Wall of Ye Old Thompson.
Eva Mir, Bus Stop. While not technically a Thompson tribute, Eva captured another change in the neighborhood, saying, “The Bus Stop just started this year.”
Grace Hogan, “Our Beloved Thompson.” “I chose Thompson Elementary because it was my first school before I came to Bishop,” says Grace. “I will never forget anybody who I met there and became good friends with. When Thompson’s rebuilt, I will miss it a lot, but I will be glad they could rebuild it.”
Where the Thompson School once stood, there is now a flat expanse of land waiting for construction to begin. I haven’t seen plans for the new design, but thanks to these young artists, we’ll always remember the “Old Thompson” and what it meant to its last group of students.
Now in its 7th year, the Kids Images of Arlington Exhibit is a collaboration between the Arlington Center for the Arts and the Fine Arts Department of the Arlington Public Schools. For more information about the program, please visit our website.