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Partnership is a Work of Art


"On the count of three, everyone yell their name at the same time. 1-2-3!" instructs Otterbein University art professor Jim Bowling. The studio explodes with the sound of children's voices, shouting their names.

The children are students at the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disablities' Early Childhood Family Center (ECFC), with whom Bowling has partnered to give the children the opportunity to do a special art project in an Otterbein art studio.

"The project we did was building nests from sticks and paper pulp mixed with a small amount of plaster. It was inspired by conversations in the students' classes about animal nests and where animals live," Bowling said.

Some students were eager to get their hands dirty - scooping the paper pulp into their hands and slamming it on the table, giggling as it splattered their face - while others used twigs to scoop out the paper pulp carefully. Each student was able to pile the paper pulp and sticks together to create a bird nest, which they got to take home with them after it dried.

This partnerships stemmed from a previous connection Bowling had made with Mary Wheeler, a teacher at ECFC. Bowling and Wheeler had collaborated on a similar project last year, when Wheeler brought a group of Columbus School for Girls students to Otterbein.

See photos from the children's arts experience at Otterbein.