Permanent Eclipse

If you missed the Highlands Eclipse, worry not – there’s a new eclipse in town! 

The Rec Center now features an artistic rendering of the eclipse, made this past summer by local elementary-aged children at the Highlands Rec Center. 

The project was the culmination of a free weekly art class co-sponsored by The Bascom Art Center and the Art League of Highlands-Cashiers.  Since 2009, The Bascom and Art League together have offered weekly visual arts classes to the children enrolled in the Rec Center’s summer camp. The classes offer a break from the pool and gymnasium, and an opportunity to exercise their creative muscles. In anticipation of the August 21 total solar eclipse, Grant Benoit, the Bascom Community Artist in Residence, planned an 8-session curriculum based on the Solar System and scientific imagery. In one lesson, students compared planets and human habitability. They, then, divided into teams – Team Aliens Do Exist and Team Aliens Don’t Exist – where heated debate ensued. The resultant mixed media alien puppet projects yielded groundbreaking evidence of extraterrestrial life that the Science community no longer can deny.  In another lesson, students drafted plans for their own original planets and then implemented their plans in the form of planetary sun catchers. Exploration led one such young astronomer to the discovery of aptly named “Dog Planet”, giving new hope that there may exist another planet that is suitable for human domestication. Of the curriculum, Benoit says, "I didn't want this experience to be just another art project in their elementary experiences.  Grounding the projects in science and expanding each week with both knowledge of the planets and new art techniques and artists was ultimately the route I took with this camp. The amount of information retained through these projects was exciting and I hope those lessons will remain with them."

The culminating art project in the Bascom/Art League Rec Camp was a radiant total solar eclipse measuring 50 inches in circumference. The children worked collaboratively to construct the eclipse using paint, bottle caps, and various layers of board. The finished piece features each of the students’ names on the many sun rays that outline the circular object. The public may find Highlands’ permanent eclipse on display at the Civic Center at 600 North 4th Street. It is displayed alongside the many Rec Camp group projects that children have created since The Bascom and Art League began the program in 2007.

The Bascom’s Community Outreach Department continues working in partnership with approximately 40 regional schools, nonprofits, senior centers, and community groups in the fall, spring, and winter. 
The public is welcome to free admission to the art center at 323 Franklin Road, year-round.
To become involved, the local community is invited to stop by any time during regular business hours. 

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323 Franklin Road
Highlands, NC 28741
© 2017  The Bascom • A Center for the Visual Arts • Highlands, NC