Nicola Parente Serves as Artist in Residence with Writers in the Schools (WITS)
Since 2009, Parente has worked as one of the visiting visual artists for Writers in the Schools (WITS). Working with over 800 students, elementary through middle school, through collaborative efforts where he is paired with one of WITS’ teaching poets to create deep arts-infused learning. The students work closely with a writer/poet to create self-reflective writings of their own. Parente then guides the students in transforming the writing into a visual art component.
Parente’s most recent project was in conjunction with the Joaquín Torres-Garcia exhibition at The Menil Collection. Students toured the collection, worked with a poet, and then created their own wood or cardboard abstraction using their own symbols and writing to tell their story of arrival. Parente says “…it was powerful work. I was amazed at how deep the students dug to create their poems and how high they flew to create their artwork. Seeing the immense results from this kind of collaborative work, inspires me… I now believe that the arts feed one another in unexplainable ways”.