Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

C’mon Language!


Anna Craycroft is a New York-based artist who is in residency in Portland over the coming months for a Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) installation.  We've had some conversations with Anna and her collaborators that have excited us – because it links elements of our work to communities we haven't yet reached.  Because of the special role Opal School has played in the development of the installation, we know you will be interested.

Anna Craycroft writes,

After reading a few books on Reggio, I was fortunate to visit Opal School and attend some of the NAREA / Opal conference in Portland last summer.  I had already been thinking for a while about the connections between Reggio methodology and the Artist's process of conceiving and realizing a work of art – connections relating to research and the exploration of abstract concepts by making things with one's hands. 

Getting the opportunity to visit the classrooms at Opal, to talk with teachers and administrators there, and also to witness the Reggio methods in practice at the Helen Gordon Learning Center – revealed even more connections between the artistic practice and Reggio pedagogy- documentation, provocation, language development etc. From then on I was convinced that my upcoming exhibition in Portland should consider how the Reggio philosophy can help adults and children alike understand and determine the meanings and experiences of art.  

I hope you can join me at the exhibit this summer. I am working with a group of incredible thinkers, makers and doers on an amazing lineup of workshops and activities. We welcome your participation, contribution and reflection.

More in this notice from PICA:

Please join us at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art for C'mon Language - an exhibition inspired by Reggio Emilia! New York artist Anna Craycroft has designed an installation for the PICA galleries that is inspired by Reggio's principles of hands-on learning and Loris Malaguzzi's "hundred languages of children".

C'mon Language will include weekly workshops, lectures and activities from June through August. Events will be held in the PICA galleries at 415 SW 10TH AVE STE 300 PORTLAND, OR 97205.

Our opening event – a casual dinner June 7 that includes a playful interactive language-building activity – is open to children and adults. Leave a lasting mark that will hang on the walls of the galleries! We welcome your involvement and engagement. RSVP at rsvp@pica.orgMore information on the dinner can be found at http://pica.org/event/symposium-opening-night-dinner/

To learn more about the C'mon Language exhibition and for details on the weekly schedule of events please visit http://pica.org/event/anna-craycroft-3/

If you make it to the installation, please share your reflections in the comments section below.