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Seeing through the eyes of future generations, A.W. Becker students collaborate to create sky art

looking from high above, people create the shape of an owlStudents, faculty and staff at A.W. Becker joined together in a collaborative effort to create a piece of art for the sky. Artist in residency, Daniel Dancer, visits schools all over the country to teach students a blend of science, history and math through his “living paintings.”

Dancer hopes to make students think about the “big picture” to understand how everything in the world is connected and how what we do now will affect future generations.

“What we do to the sky we do to ourselves in the end,” Dancer said. “We need to learn how to think long-term, see through the eyes of future generations and what the world should be like for them.”

Students worked with Dancer to create a living painting of a larger-than-life short-eared owl, on the front lawn of A.W. Becker. Pairs of jeans were laid out to create a sky, yellow shirts for they eyes and mulch was placed to create the outline of the owl. Then, students, faculty and staff, who each wore a specific color of shirt, were brought out to fill in the shape.

Dancer then got the birds-eye-view when he was then lifted into the air by a fire truck ladder bucket supplied by the Coeymans Fire Department.

“Three, two, one, go,” Dancer said, giving the cue for the group to kneel in position to create the final piece. Once in position, the group was asked to take a moment of silence.

“My favorite part was when we all got down and had a moment of silence,” fifth-grader Natalia Alonso said. “It shows you how the sky art is more important than you think.”

Alonso added that she now understands that things can look much different depending on where you are. “If you look from high above, stuff can look beautiful, even if, from down here, it looks kind of gross.”

“This had quite an impact, it is something we will always remember,” Principal Debra Neubart said.