With various art media displayed throughout the Silver Lake hallways- this week students will observe and participate in a noticeably different method of creativity -in the form of tape art.
Founder of Tape Art Crew Michael Townsend carries over three decades of art experience and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. Artist Leah Smith and Tape Art instructor also has over a decade in creating public art.
The pair generated inspiration with the SL students during a brief brain storming session prior to the application of the tape on Tuesday.
The students were encouraged to create and envision their story and then pairing up in groups they taped their portions of the story as it would unfold along the bare white wall.
Strictly pictorial each detail of the wall art was made of tape. Flowers, grass, lines both leading and finishing, cat ears, tiger bodies and a story unfolded about within various stages.
The green and blue artistry tape is easily removed and repositionable.
The idea of creating a scene together incorporates everyone. Coming into a space and seeing something new is exciting and when it is removed it will be missed and leaves room for new ideas to spring up, said Smith.
Several students stood on a table and stools to work on the top portions of the mural each had a shared task.
In recognition of March – Youth Arts Month this event was made possible by the generous support of the Kingston, Plympton and Halifax Local Cultural Councils and the SLRSD PTO.
Hannah Close Art teacher at the Silver Lake Regional High School was first introduced to the Tape Art Crew when she attended a professional development workshop in spring 2018. The event was hosted by the Massachusetts Art Education Association MAEA at UMass Dartmouth featuring the Tape Art Crew and led by two of the crew members.
Similar to the students the teachers at the workshop were given a prompt and coaching on how to manipulate the blue and green painter’s tape and all were paired in groups to create a temporary tape art mural.
‘The Tape Art Crew members posed thoughtful questions about imagery, communication and visual problems while we worked. The results were as exciting as they were varied,’ said Close.
Close who also spent class time Tuesday with the Tape Art Crew was excited about the opportunity to bring working artists to SLRHS because of the conceptual thinking, exposure to the media of temporary tape art murals and allowance for her students to develop visual communication skills. Her hope in what the students will gather from the experiences this week is: development of interpersonal and problem solving skills.
‘They work together to create large scale murals that will be shared by the whole school and community,’ said Close.
The Tape Art Crew hails from Rhode Island and has hosted their workshops all over the world. Internationally they have traveled, creating tape murals throughout the US, Hong Kong, Greece, and Tokyo.
Lock your doors. The message was strong, straightforward and imperative to personal safety.
How to avoid becoming a victim was the message sent in a number of ways through the topics discussed at last week’s Senior Safety presentation. Plympton police officers Dana Smith, and Doug Mazzola, Carver TRIAD members, Plympton Council on Aging, and members of the Plympton fire department, all brought their expertise to help senior citizens avoid becoming victims.
The messages at the luncheon held last week at the Plympton Town House were eye-opening for many who attended.
Financial scams, not offering personal information on the telephone and being aware of exits in buildings and large crowds were several topics that were touched on at the assembly.
Mazzola repeated the ‘see something say something’ phrase that has been adopted in this day and age when there can be questionable actions in everyday life.
“If you are alerted to the sensation that something doesn’t feel right use your instincts,” he said.
Plympton Fire Captain John Sjostedt III spoke about the upcoming changes to cell services. The regional call centers are now able to receive text messages for an emergency when there is no other way to communicate. Text 911 and include your physical address.
Among other heavier topics were recent mass shootings, lockdown and shelter in place drills, and student and staff training exercises and strategies that Smith has practiced as resource officer at the Dennett Elementary School.
“Creating distance by moving yourself away from an unsafe situation is the best option,” said Smith. Be aware of the exits when you are in a crowd. Know your location.
He briefly shared his feelings on the Sandy Hook School shooting and drew on his experiences and knowledge that active shooter and safety drills afford to staff and students.
Smith also offered effortless alternatives that everyone can use to avoid potential unsafe situations such as not using an ATM after dark. Locking the car door when you step away from the vehicle is a simple thing to do; thieves look for any opportunities and prevention can make all the difference.
Smith also reminded the group to use their body language. Perception can send a strong message to a perpetrator. Carrying yourself with confident body language keeps you from appearing to be an easy target.
Seniors came away with a new awareness of some of the safety issues that they might encounter and some valuable strategies to employ.
Hard work has paid off in a sweet way for one exceptional Silver Lake student who has baked her way into early admission to culinary college.
Caeli McCulloch, 16, of Halifax may have been born with a mixing spoon in hand as she has officially been accepted to Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island as an early enrollment culinary student.
Although she is only a junior at Silver Lake High School she will complete her senior course load next fall as a freshman at Johnson and Wales University in Johnston, Rhode Island, allowing her to complete college one year early.
Her original goal in making and selling holiday confections was to save money for college as technically she doesn’t qualify for state financial aid until she graduates high school.
Caeli spoke with The Express while whipping up a recipe she referred to as ‘simple’ – a delectable chocolate bourbon Bundt cake -with a caramel glaze. She whisked the thickening caramel in a multi-task, carefree manner never losing track of her perfectly formed cake as she described her passion for pastry.
Her busy holiday schedule included: working at her job of two years- Just Desserts in Bridgewater center, filling custom orders for holiday deadlines, keeping up with school work and daily chores. She also competes in track and field at Silver Lake.
She took over the family’s oversized kitchen for baking and packaging holiday pies, hand making assorted dessert trays and for several days occupied the space until she finalized each order. She estimates she made 25 desserts for Thanksgiving and then completed another 25 orders for Christmas.
With modesty McCulloch describes her above average grade point and perfect score of 100 percent in her culinary program through the Silver Lake Career and Technical Education Program.
The early acceptance program was something she had in her sights since her freshman year.
“It will be hard to let her go a year early to college but she has worked so hard. She has impressed me every step of the way,” said mom, Lynn Czarniak and step father Scott Czarniak.
The family agreed that Caeli has always worked well under pressure and couldn’t be more proud.
They recently learned she was awarded the Presidential Academic Scholarship through Johnson and Wales University, which will pay approximately half of her tuition.
Her earliest kitchen recollections are using an EZ Bake Oven and kids cooking books, which were beneath her vast natural ability even at the age of four, according to mom.
Eventually moving on to utensils and kitchen equipment with her mom they would cook together for her younger brother who had severe food allergies. Czarniak would cook specialized meals and with her daughter gained abundant knowledge on food allergens and how they could affect others. Caeli credits this early awareness towards her recent successes.
Their home is nut- free so she was able to be aware of those special needs for several holiday orders.
McCulloch proudly owns the title of ‘the person in charge of dessert’ when attending parties. She finds the structural aspect of baking to be an independent, natural, calming component in her life.
Following online recipes using a base of a recipe then testing and personalizing to her own taste satisfies her creative flair.
French macarons are a favored small plated pastry. She has mastered the ability of decorating party cupcakes, which has gained popularity over the years.
In choosing what to make on her holiday menu she based desserts on what she has perfected through school and her bakery experience.
“We learn about popular desserts and cultural awareness so I went on what I thought would sell the most- based on my previous knowledge,” she said.
Caeil’s Creations were expounded on by word of mouth, as well as posted on the Halifax and Pembroke connect pages.
A morsel of advice she would offer other teens in their endeavors is to never give up.
“You can do whatever you think you can. I never thought I would be going to school a year early and do all this – school – managing my job and applying for college. Work as hard as you can, try everything to the best of your ability,” she said.
There have been numerous cases in the news in which first responders have been shot at or assaulted during EMS responses during hostile incidents.
Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros announced the fire department has acquired three tactical bulletproof vests and helmets through an anonymous donation.
“While we pray it never happens, it is very important that our firefighters have all the protective gear possible if called to the scene of a hostile incident,” Viveiros said.
“Also included with the ballistic gear are hemorrhage control kits and supplies our paramedics need to stabilize a patient with arterial bleeding or penetrating trauma,” he said.
Sean O’Meara, 27, of Halifax was placed under arrest by Halifax police and charged in the arson of his mother’s home.
The house fire was allegedly intentionally set on the morning of June 13 at 30 Oak Place, leaving a charred frame behind.
O’Meara was arrested July 20 and charged with arson, said Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros.
There are details of the investigation that are not being released as of yet, however further charges are expected, according to Viveiros.
O’Meara was charged with arson in Plymouth District Court and bail was set at $3,000 cash. His probable cause hearing is set for August 15.
Viveiros thanked Assistant District Attorney Alex Zane, Halifax Fire Department, Halifax Police and Sgt. Sterling, and the Massachusetts State Police Arson Investigation unit for assisting with the investigation and arrest.
Halifax fire and police also responded to numerous calls for suspicious devices in the area of McClellan Drive and Brandeis Circle on Monday.
“Commercial grade fireworks were located in some mailboxes that had not been detonated,” said Viveiros.
In four calls the fire department removed the devices and submerged the undetonated fireworks rendering them safe.
There were calls to 911 regional dispatch that explosions were heard with the destruction of mailboxes.
The incidents were turned over to Halifax police who also responded. The devices used to blow up the mailboxes were commercial fireworks, confirmed Sgt. Patrick Sterling, communications officer for the Halifax Police Department.
As of now, Sterling said, there have been no arrests.
When I was a little girl I used to imagine my birthday was the reason we celebrated Flag Day. After all, that was what kids did – embellish and exaggerate the importance of their own special day for cake and gifts. I have grown in my patriotism as an adult and suddenly other than getting older, birthdays have little significance in my life.
This June 14th Flag Day felt unlike anything I have witnessed in all my birth years. Celebrating the unfurling of the historic flag, recognizing the faces of townspeople who joined in the holding of the hem, and especially looking down and seeing my father at the very bottom of the ladder brought me joy that I have not felt or recognized in a long time.
At 10:30 a.m. I parked at the Town Hall and I skipped across the street as a police officer stopped traffic for pedestrians. I saw hands motioning from the crowd as if to say ‘walk a little faster’. Realizing I was the photographer they were waiting for, it suddenly became clear to me that the giant ladder truck was in fact where I was headed for the official flag shoot. I believe my knees were audibly knocking together.
The huge lawn at Pope’s Tavern Senior Center was packed with several hundred residents and their energy could be felt around me.
Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros and Captain Jeff Couzzo met me at the lip of the driveway and said they were ready for me.
I asked to use the ladies room as a priority (not to delay my ascent) logically, there were no bathrooms at 78 feet up in the air.
Firefighter Rich Ferguson strapped me into a waist harness that would fasten me inside the bucket in the Tower 1 Fire Engine. He kindly reminded me that if I fell out the ground would catch me.
My nerves suddenly reminded me that I was actually not a fan of heights, but I quickly composed myself, said a prayer (caught on camera by Captain Cuozzo) and climbed the truck, stepped in the bucket and they hooked me in. As we rose up higher over the crowd the bucket shook, and I instantly felt like the little sister shouting at her older brother at the top of a Ferris wheel ride. “Stop rocking the bucket” went through my head as I zoomed in, altered manual settings and dismounted lenses. I kept focused on the crowd below and felt my natural state of joy holding my camera. I realized I was smiling ear to ear without fear of dropping to my death. OK. Truthfully, the thought did quickly pass through my brain.
Watching the flag unfurling from the elevated point of view was mesmerizing as the colors of each star reflected the sun. My eyes were drawn to the brightest of whites, the stars set against the background of blue with the rays dancing on the fabric. Everything appeared so vivid. The stripes of red and blue rippled as the wind blew underneath the patriotic drapery. I could hear the muffled sounds from below as children began to duck under the flag’s enormity changing sides and reappearing.
As I captured the event I muttered a lot. I process out loud at times and this aided in guiding Firefighter Ferguson which direction he needed to steer us to and fro over the crowd. My thoughts included: how fantastically amazing the occasion was, I wondered how heavy the flag felt, and quickly blocked the thought that my camera equipment could topple to the ground.
I imagine with the excitement and visual stimulation what I see behind the lens can be compared to how some people feel eating a homemade piece of molten chocolate cake. Utter satisfaction mixed with natural curiosity of capturing the whole story unfolding in camera before my eyes.
As a writer and photographer I see and feel things with my entire body when I shoot a scene. I also watch for expressions, patterns, shadows, and colors that pop but oftentimes it is simply my lens capturing a form of translation- the smiles and emotions I see before me.
After my feet landed on Halifax town soil and I realized what I had accomplished, a continuous stream of pure exhilaration poured through my veins for hours. I shared photos, and even took a “selfie” from the top of the town. Celebrating my birthday this year was done at the most fantastic view as I looked down over the First Congregational Church, Town Hall and was nearly eye to eye with the blue water tower.
Through my lens this week I witnessed a historical moment where hands held, supported and honored our nation’s flag celebrating Flag Day and the true meaning of the freedoms we are allotted as Americans.
One male occupant was transported to the hospital following a house fire at 30 Oak Place in Halifax on Wednesday.
The home was fully involved with flames when first responders arrived and was still smoldering, reduced to a charred shell, as homeowner Tia O’Meara arrived.
She was visibly distraught as Fire Chief Jason Viveiros and Police Chief Theodore Broderick spoke to her in the neighbor’s yard.
The home, on the edge of Crystal Lake, is approximately 2000 feet off Plymouth Street.
Hose lines were stretched and connected to reach the fire hydrants and get water on the flames.
As of press time on Thursday, the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office.
John Shea, owner of John and Sons Barber Shop at the Cumberland Farms Plaza in Halifax, can’t believe how the years have gone by as he has been cutting hair for half a century!
Celebrating his milestone as a barber in the same location for nearly all of his career and next door for the 18 years before that, Shea is thrilled to celebrate five decades and has no intention of slowing down.
As he turns his chair, trimming and chatting with clients, he shares memories with his many repeat customers. He hears about work, town life and sports as the scissors snip and trimmers buzz.
In addition to realizing how many trinkets have accumulated inside the shop, Shea has also absorbed the innumerable emotional milestones he sees in his line of work making him love his job and career wholeheartedly.
John has given clients their very first haircuts, cut their hair for their wedding, and in some cases, even trimmed their hair for their funeral. In June, some of his kids who got their first haircuts in John’s chair will come in for a trim before they graduate from high school.
He has given many first haircuts in a 1920s antique child’s chair, a replica of a carousel horse, that sits in the front window.
He found it at an auction in Pittsfield in the 1990s and had to bring it back to his shop where it has been a favorite for many of his youngest customers.
Listening is an important aspect of Shea’s work as he lathers necks and shaves with a straight razor. He shares light banter with his customers and the atmosphere becomes even livelier he says when his son Darren is cutting in the chair next to him.
Shea is also known for decorative haircuts and designs when sports teams win, and kids want the winning logo etched into their hairline, said Shea.
His nephew Corey Socha is also a full time barber at the shop as Shea passes along his decades of experience to help train the next generations.
A buzz cut, fade, or crew cut, Shea has seen countless trends come and go, recalling his early start in the 1960s and 1970s the trend was growing long hair.
It was a tough beginning for his brand-new business when no one needed a haircut! Welcomed were the mullets and shags and Mohawks in the early 1980s when the grooming business boomed.
The décor inside his shop has evolved as rows of collectible Harley Davidson limited edition cans and knick-knacks of all sorts came in with customers. Suddenly the shelves were full of state-of-the-art conversation pieces, he said.
Although he has many clients who have followed him through the years one family came to mind who he has seen grow through four generations, named – would you believe it – the Barber family of Duxbury, he said.
Married to wife Judy for 53 years, he looks forward to spending time with her. He foresees his body will let him know when it is time to hang up his shears.
Shea said having a career as a barber has been rewarding and fulfilling. When asked where he sees himself in the next decade, Shea chuckled.
“I will keep going until I can’t go anymore. I may slow down physically, but I love it,” he said.