Snowshoe Art

March 10, 2019

Winthrop Middle School

Thank you to Winthrop Middle School visual art educator Lisa Gilman for providing the following information for this blog post. 

For the second year in a row Winthrop Middle School students worked with snow shoe artist, Jason Cote. Trying to find the words is not easy to describe the experience my students and I had. Working with a local community organization, Winthrop Plays Outside, we were able to be the first to commission Jason as an artist last year.

The day after a snow storm Jason arrived at school at sunrise and sketched the design in snow. He laid down the initial circles and paths for students to follow with ropes and poles. We kept the groups small, we had 12 pairs of snow shoes from local library, Bailey Public Library. Students were given directions to follow the path and follow Jason’s directions. Students could watch if they did not want to participate. For many students this was the first time on snow shoes. However, when the first drone pictures came out, more students wanted to participate. Almost two hundred 6th, 7th and 8th grade kids created the work of art with Jason.

Watching from the sidelines, directing students, helping get snow shoes on and off, I was nervous. The kids were incredibly well behaved but from my view it looked like fun chaos, but chaos never the less!! Then my tech guy took a few drone pictures and the magic began to appear. (Jason hires a professional drone photographer to take the final photographs and video.) The pictures were amazing. The artwork was clear, the middle school staff and I were all in pure awe. Students expressed their gratitude for several days.

Lisa Gilman,Jason Cote

It’s hard express how grateful I am for this experience. The art was temporary, but the memories will last forever. When I got home and had time to reflect I thought of Christo and Jean- Claude. Their work is tough for many to understand; it’s temporary, environmental, conceptual. Whatever you want to call it, art work, art happening, snow shoe art, I as an artist got to feel like Christo and Jean-Claude for the day. The experience transcended all expectations.

Jason Cote is great with the students and a creative artist. He does do snow shoe art commission work and can be reached through social media or contact me, Lisa Gilman at lgilman12@gmail.com and I can pass the information along.




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