Midcoast School Notebook: May 10

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Freeport students win art/environmental awards

More than a half dozen seventh-graders at Freeport Middle School won awards in the 2019 Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge sponsored by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs and Conservation Law Foundation.

Students in Mrs. Brown’s science class had the opportunity to create art as a way to express their understanding about the changes to the environment that are affecting the right whale. The challenge was open to K-12 students who live in the New England/Gulf of Maine regions in the United States or Canada.

Teagan Davenport won silver in the Film Category, which came with a $250 cash prize, while Brielle Hodgkin received an honorable mention in the Art Category, winning a $25 prize.

In the essay that accompanied her project, Teagan wrote that she made an animated video to show the perspective of a right whale during a boat collision. “Although this video is only 60 seconds long, it really did change something in my heart about right whales,” Teagan said. “I don’t know if it’s sympathy or anger I feel after watching this video, but something motivates me to want to help stop boat collisions.

“It doesn’t have to be this project, but something should motivate you to want to help as well. Don’t let humans be responsible for yet another extinct species, stop boat collisions.”

In addition, the projects submitted by Alexis Goff, YiLin Wang, Luci Bourgois, Ian Smith and Evie Phelps and Bridgette Francoeur were each selected as Notable Awardees in the Art Category. 

More than 130 participants created visual art, poetry and short films that celebrated the iconic right whales and drove action for their protection. Their submissions emphasized the beauty of the animals and called attention to the many threats they face, including ship strikes, entanglements, and pollution.

Gold, silver, and bronze winners who most effectively combined knowledge of the issue, creative expression, and persuasive activism were selected in each of three age divisions. Their work can be seen at https://bowseat.org/news/winners-of-student-art-contest-focused-on-protection-of-right-whales-and-ocean-health-announced.

“North Atlantic right whales are in danger of becoming extinct within our lifetime,” Priscilla Brooks, director of Ocean Conservation at CLF, said on its website. “The contest has been so important in raising awareness of this critical issue and creating a new generation of young advocates who will fight for the protection of right whales and our oceans.”

MAMM SLAMM participants announced 

The Maine Academy of Modern Music recently released the names of the musicians participating in the 2019 MAMM SLAM:

Mason Harrington, a junior at Morse High School in Bath, is a solo singer/songwriter from Woolwich who says his biggest influences include Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Alice In Chains and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The Folding Faces are a Portland/Freeport-based rock band with influences in blues, jazz, grunge and funk. Formed in 2018, members of The Folding Faces include Freeport High School juniors Jeremy Brogan, who plays guitar, and Gardner Converse, a guitarist and vocalist. 

An alternative rock band with members from Portland and Brunswick, Happyboy, includes Brody Belanger, an eighth-grader from Brunswick Junior High on vocals, bass, drums and guitar. The group plays originals as well as covers from a wide range of time periods and artists.

Ness is an all-girl alternative rock band whose members include Maine Coast Waldorf School students Kira Salter-Gurau on bass, violin and vocals, and Pearl Sapirstein on bass and drums. Their bio is short and sweet: “We like pickles.”

The winners-take-all event will be held at Empire in Portland on Saturday, May 11, with judging by professionals in the local club, radio, print media and recording studio industries. Winners have a crack at a prize package that includes $1,000 cash, a tour of Gateway Mastering in Portland, free recording studio time at the Maine College of Art and gigs that include appearances on the MAMM Stage at the 2019 Old Port Festival.

BHS hosting its annual student art show

A showcase of student-produced work will be hung at Brunswick High School from Thursday, May 16, to Wednesday, May 29, in and around the art wing of the high school. Drawings, paintings, prints, ceramics, digital art and photography from students in grades 9-12 will on display in the halls and classrooms.

Members of the community are invited to an opening reception from 5:30-7 p.m. May 16 to celebrate the accomplishments of BHS visual arts students and enjoy the work they produced this year.

Local students awarded scholarships

Three local students were awarded scholarships in the Midcoast area. 

Merrymeeting Audubon, a chapter of Maine Audubon, announced the Chuck Huntington Scholarship Fund summer camp awards for 2019 were given to two Topsham teens. Margaret Libby and Weston Barker, both with intense interests in birding and ecology, will travel to Bremen to attend Hog Island Audubon Camp. 

Bath Schools Visual Fine Art instructor, Jacqueline Johnson, will attend the teacher education program at Hog Island Camp. Johnson is an accomplished artist and educator whose work has focused on the connection between art and the environment. During the week-long program, “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week,” instructors will share favorite methods and activities for engaging children and adults with nature. 

Danielle Paus of Phippsburg, who is pursuing a degree in nursing, was the recipient of a Thomas J. McMahon Scholarship awarded by The Maine College of Health Professions.

Brielle Hodgkin, a seventh-grader at Freeport Middle School, received an honorable mention in the 2019 Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge.

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