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Around the Bend

Around the Bend - November 2021


Dear Oxbow Friends,

We hope this message finds you in good health and spirits. We are excited to share with you some updates since our last issue of OxTales!

REOPENING. After a year of being closed due to the pandemic, we reopened our campus this past June to a vibrant group of young artists. This was the first cohort to experience our new summer programming, the Oxbow Summer Art Institute, an immersive arts residency for high-school students. Students spent each day making art from sunrise to sunset -- they experimented with new mediums and delved deeply into the creative process while also bringing much joy into the studios. To see the final artwork produced by our summer students, please visit our virtual gallery on the website here. Although they have returned home, the arts residency proved to be a resounding success and brought in new streams of revenue to secure the future of Oxbow. We look forward to seeing what the summer of 2022 brings!

NEW VIDEOS. During the summer months, we invited two students to collaborate with the Oxbow marketing team in our efforts to shoot new promotional videos for the school, “The Oxbow Journey.” The purpose of these short videos is to capture the introspective narrative gleaned from each student’s first person perspective, allowing the viewer to gain a better understanding of the transformation that occurs as a result of the Oxbow experience. The first video features Ethan and can be viewed here. Ethan is from Chicago and shares that his time spent at the Summer Art Institute truly transformed how he views art and how he views himself in the world. He notes, “I was able to meet people who gave me a new chance. I was able to come out of my shell.” When thinking about the power of the community, Ethan states, “People here have learned how to take inspiration from everything surrounding them.” The second video features Portia and can be viewed here. Portia attends boarding school in Pottstown, PA and she notes, “Before coming to Oxbow, I had a really clear image of who I thought I was, what I thought education had to look like, what art had to look like.”

FALL SEMESTER. It’s no surprise that our current Fall cohort is also undergoing change as this week launches the Final Project, the seminal capstone project in which students engage in mindful critical and creative inquiry around a topic of their own choosing. During the last weeks of the semester, students take on the role of an artist working in their own studio. Students receive personalized support from the faculty to successfully execute their projects. As a result of this unique collaboration, students depart the program with a newly discovered agency and a deep-seated curiosity that leads to a journey of lifelong learning. The Final Show is scheduled for Saturday, December 11th and the student research and artwork will be posted to our virtual gallery shortly thereafter. We look forward to celebrating with them next month. In the meantime, please follow their journey on the Oxbow Instagram! There, you will see many images of their work along with co-programming experiences (camping trips into nature, Halloween celebrations, making food with the chefs on the weekends, gallery openings, elective classes, and more).

SCHOLARLY ARTICLE. Not too long after students left mid-semester during the Spring of 2020, two Oxbow faculty members co-authored an article entitled, “Reflections on Distance Learning and Quarantine in Spring 2020: The Oxbow School’s Pandemic Story”. The article was published in this month’s edition of Art Education, the official journal of the National Art Education Association. A copy of the story can be found on our website here. Teaching remotely brought new awareness to the importance of an arts education, especially during a time when the creative process was a much needed outlet for young people forced into quarantine for an unknown period of time. Not surprisingly, the Oxbow faculty and students rose to the occasion to produce meaningful work as featured in Art Education.

THANK YOU. It is fitting that Thanksgiving is around the corner, for we want to thank you for being an important part of our greater school community. Your support and stewardship of the school is instrumental and there are many ways in which you can help sustain Oxbow’s future. The most direct way is to support our Annual Scholarship Fund. If you would like to make a major gift to the school, nominate us for a foundation grant, or set up planned giving, please contact the development office ( Your donation has a direct impact on our ability to continue to be a school of access, equity, and excellence.

The faculty and staff at Oxbow wish you a heartfelt Thanksgiving holiday filled with love from family and friends. In closing, we would like to share this poem with you and this podcast, “Thanksgiving Poems,” from Poetry Off the Shelf brought to you by the Poetry Foundation. Enjoy!

Warm regards,

Jennifer Jordan
Head of School

A School Like No Other