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Published: June 14, 2016 Updated: 6:25 p.m.


Where: March Field Air Museum

When: The exhibit is on display through July 31. The museum is is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Location: 22550 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside.

Information: 951-902-5949 or marchfield.org

Some 100 area students let their imaginations soar to create art work for an exhibit titled “I Can Fly!” on display through July 31 at the March Field Air Museum in Riverside.

The exhibit is part of a nationwide undertaking by the Dream Rocket Project to collect 8,000 fabric panels, each measuring 2 feet by 2 feet. These will be connected side-by-side and wrapped around the frame of a 385-foot Space Launch System rocket replica that will tour the country. NASA’s “dream rocket” represents the dream of going to Mars and beyond, according to project officials.

Students were asked to imagine what flight would be like and to create works of art inspired by their personal visions. Artwork could involve a variety of materials, including knitting, weaving, stitching, painting or collage, and incorporate recyclable materials.
The result was a colorful kaleidoscope of cartoon characters, animals, balloons, space ships, jet packs and humans of all shapes and sizes shown exploring the dimensions of space.

“The imagination displayed by some of these kids is amazing,” said Greg Kuster, operations manager at the museum. “Their ideas of how you would do it, how you would go into space, are really neat.”

“Our second-grade students had just returned from a field trip to the California Space Center and were captivated after seeing the space shuttle Endeavor and learning about the astronauts and scientists that have dedicated their lives to learn about space travel,” wrote teacher Pamela Ortiz of Buford Elementary School in the L.A. County community of Lennox, near Los Angeles International Airport, in a text panel next to the work of some of her students.
That visit inspired them to think about space travel and participate in the art project, she added.

Art teacher Lydia Sandecki of San Gorgonio Middle School in Beaumont said that her seventh-grade students researched jet packs on the Internet.
“It was interesting to see how many directions they went in, taking off from this one idea,” she said by telephone. “Art exposes kids to a huge range of things, from mechanical skills to different cultures and helps them look at the world differently.”

Primary and middle school students of Lonie Fullerton at Monticello Academy in Santa Clara worked collaboratively, as did many of the participants of the art show. They did Internet research to see what helps people fly, then figured out imaginative ways to represent it, she wrote in a text panel beside her students’ contributions.

Artworks bear slogans such as “I Believe I Can Fly Like a Superhero,” “Exploring Our World,” “Imaginative Flight” and “Balloon Backpack.”
A student from New Horizons High School in Banning named his work “Soar,” depicting an air war between humans and space aliens. Another Banning student took a more introspective view, paying homage to friends who had self-destructed with a work titled “Life is Short.”

An Adelanto middle school student seemed to sum up the project by writing, “Until you spread your wings, you have no idea how far you’ll fly.”

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