Letter From the Editor
- In Every Issue
It was the summer before I taught my first yearbook class at Derby Academy in Hingham, MA. I was determined to do something unique with my group of seventh and eighth grade students, and I decided to spend a day perusing MASS MoCA in North Adams for inspiration. I was focused on two exhibits: the Micah Lexier installation of 100 special-edition minted coins, hidden throughout the museum, and Sol Lewitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective.
Both had me curious. Would they provide inspiration for the yearbook? Would we hide Easter eggs throughout the publication, creating a printed scavenger hunt? Would we design the book with a Lewitt-inspired art theme? I walked the halls, ticking off the coins that I spotted while taking in art, as I waited for my official tour of the Lewitt exhibit.
With 10 minutes to go before the tour, I paused in the lobby where my group was to meet and scanned the room. My eyes landed on a table with a small card rack displaying something that simply read, “CHANGE.” One word in a bold, red, sans serif font. I was drawn to it from across the room, and even today, over a decade later, I still remember the impact of that one word: CHANGE.
I read the envelope eagerly, taking in the text that talked about the impact of art, how it could change lives, but that the museum needed support to fulfill its mission. MASS MoCA needed patrons to donate their change, be it bills or coins. Every amount made a difference; every bit of change helped to make change.
I brought the concept of change back to Derby with me in the fall. In my office, I embraced new ways to communicate with the community, by telling the stories of our constituents, and I encouraged our students to think differently about the yearbook. While in the end, the book itself wasn’t vastly different from a traditional yearbook, the students took inspiration from Sol Lewitt’s Wall Drawing #797 and created a school-wide art project as part of the yearbook.
Together, the entire school, faculty, staff, and students—from pre-kindergarten through grade 8—participated in the creation of two Lewitt-style Wall Drawings. Following his instructions as best we could—three- and four-year-olds weren’t line drawing masters, neither were some adults for that matter—we created a wall drawing. Members of the yearbook staff drew the leading lines, one on each wall, and the rest of the staff took turns following the bottom of each line with another line, alternating three colors on each side. Eventually, each member of the school community drew a line on one of the two murals. In the end, we had two unique pieces of artwork that the entire school created together.
The yearbook staff had practiced drawing the mural before the big project, and we used our practice drawings on the inside cover of the yearbook, which tied the project to the publication. The project changed the way our departments collaborated and the way we thought about cross-grade projects; it was the first time the entire school came together to create something, a piece of art. While our change may have been small, and limited to the walls behind the theater, it was, for many, impactful.
In this issue of Tabor Today, we feature individuals who are changemakers, from our founder, Elizabeth Taber, and alumni inspired by their experiences at our School by the Sea, to the donors named in our Annual Report of Giving. The stories that grace the pages of this book prove that inspiration for change can come from anywhere, be it a mentor, an experience, or simply, an envelope. Their work, their change, is making a difference in the world.
What kind of change will you make in the world today?