The Rapidian

The Potter's House School making art from the rubbish

Students from The Potter’s House high school use the rubbish from the new building site to create works of art, and anchor their learning about being transformational leaders.
Raising Hope1 mosaic created from waste materials at The Potter's House School building project

Raising Hope1 mosaic created from waste materials at The Potter's House School building project /Jamie Treadwell

The Potter's House Garden Party Art Exhibition

The Potter’s House Garden Party: Tuesday September 27, 4:00 – 6:00pm at the Hospitality House next to The Potter’s House middle school, 805 Van Raalte Dr SW, 49509. The event features Jamie Treadwell’s paintings and prints, including collaborative mosaics created with the students from the senior’s Mexico mission trip.

Student Adeline Andreas working on collaborative mosaic with artist Jamie Treadwell

Student Adeline Andreas working on collaborative mosaic with artist Jamie Treadwell /Catherine Patros

Raising Hope2 mosaic on display at The Potter's House School Garden Party, September 27

Raising Hope2 mosaic on display at The Potter's House School Garden Party, September 27 /Jamie Treadwell

I’m going to change the way I look at a person… and the way I treat a person as well. (Adeline Andreas, 17)

Students of The Potter's House high school in Grand Rapids made an impact in Mexico this summer. Now, to capture the learning from that experience they are constructing a lasting monument.

Fifteen incoming seniors, led by Alf Clark, Dean of Students at The Potter’s House and Mike Kramer, from The Servants of the Word, donated a week of summer to help construct a simple house for a suffering family in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

Students laid bricks and sifted sand. They dug the new sewage system with a dented shovel. Adeline Andreas spread plaster on the walls. The plaster was like the other building materials, made from the stuff of the earth lying around the place.

They took what seemed like junk and turned it into a home. And they worked alongside the family that would move in, along with the neighborhood kids that gathered around the project. Hearts were won over, both ways. Something more than a building was created – a long reach of friendship.

“When I came back from Mexico, it showed me that I'm not the only one with problems. I'm not the only one who has difficulties in my life,” Fatima Guerrero Caballerro, age 17, reflected.

Students commented on the virtues of the culture they encountered. Malieke Van Dam was struck by what “hard workers” the Mexicans were, and by “how happy people can be without having a lot of stuff.” “They don't take anything for granted,” students agreed. “It was eye-opening that...instead of complaining all the time, I had to be thankful for what I had and what God gave me,” Fatima Guerrero Caballerro shared.

To anchor this experience back in Grand Rapids, the students undertook another building project. This time using the rubbish generated by the new building work going at The Potter’s House high school to create a work of art.

Led by Artist-In-Residence Jamie Treadwell, the mosaics are constructed from rubbish generated by the new building work going on at The Potter’s House high school. The images are portraits of the kids they worked with in Mexico.

“The project helps connect their experiences in Mexico with their life here. We’re starting the school year in a construction zone, a powerful metaphor for how the seniors take a lead in creating the culture of the new school. We are learning how to transform the environments we’re in, regardless of the rubbish we find. Sometimes the mess is exactly what’s needed for something beautiful to emerge.”

The finished Mosaics will be on public display in the Hospitality House at the Potter’s House Garden Party on Tuesday September 27, 4:00-6:00pm. http://pottershouseschool.org/locations/middle/.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.

Browse