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Queridos Amigos (Dear Friends),

Como fue su fin de semana? (How was your weekend). I spent mine painting because on Sunday afternoon the grandson of my friends Linda and Dave Cerruti was returning to the States after a visit to Green Acres, the farm with the beautiful trees and plants that I have told you of before.

When I send paintings home, I eagerly await a call from Jake and his staff in Mathews telling me they have arrived safely. I then want to hear what they think of each one. Like you who have been reading my letters, they have already seen photos but that is not the same as seeing the actual painting.

Work in progress: the Rocky Springs Carousel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

All artists, whether visual artists or performing artists, need to hear the reaction of their audience. That is why my barn at homes are so important to me. You are my audience. Unlike the actor on the stage who hears instant response, I must wait until I meet you. It is like the film actor who must await the release of the film.

I am showing you only one photo of a painting with this letter because I want the focus this week to be on education. The painting is of the Rocky Springs Carousel that belongs to the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The carousel has 48 magnificent hand carved animals including a giraffe, a zebra, a lion, a deer, a rooster and ostriches and more. It is one of the first (1901) and finest carousels crafted by the workshop of Gustav Dentzel. The challenge to do justice in representing this historic masterpiece is formidable.

I have been working on the painting for two years, progressing slowly as and when the inspiration shows me where to go next. While still not finished, I am coming near to the end. It is a work of love that each time I turn to brings back to me the memory of the afternoon I spent studying the animals in a secret warehouse in Lancaster. The sale of prints from the painting will help with the costs of the carousel's restoration and housing.

The Methodist Church summer camp children displaying their puppet pencils.

In just over two weeks Malcolm and I will be heading back to Virginia. I will be preparing for the April Barn at Home and Museum show, while Malcolm will be seeing specialists about his knee. He will be returning to Bocas within three weeks to follow through with various of our Panama education projects, one of which involves the shipment and distribution of thirty-two computers donated by a Texas company to the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for use in the Bocas high school and in those of the primary schools that have electricity. The impact of this donation will be huge.

In the Bocas cultural center volunteers teach acting.

We are also working with others to raise funds to pay for lodging accommodations for the most deserving of the students from the outer islands. At present these students end their education after sixth grade because their parents have no money to pay for lodging on the main island where the one high school is located. Malcolm will be the auctioneer at a Gringo fundraiser on the night before we leave. Virginia Vasquez meanwhile is preparing for the start of the new year, March 15, of our program to teach English in the primary schools. We are exploring with Roanoke College, Roanoke, Virginia, a plan to bring student teachers of Spanish from the college for three month stints of teaching within our program.

Parents, teachers and student artists enjoy the art competition exhibition.

Last week's letter was about our playtime in Bouquete. This week we are focused on volunteerism in education. I am taking up your time on this subject because I want to give credit to those who give of themselves to help fill the gaps in education that our politicians are unable to fill. I want to encourage you to support whatever local initiatives you come across. You will see photos from the Methodist Church children's summer camp and an acting project run by three volunteers for children. Both of these programs are taking place this week and have our support, though with so much going on our degree of help is limited.

Jason Miles hands out certificates to the participating artists.

Our focus in education is on art and I am happy to tell you that we have been successful in expanding the Museum's role in encouraging art for the young. The Foundation and the Museum combined to stage a children's art competition which culminated in an exhibition and reception last Thursday. Every Saturday our framers, Jason Miles and Dennis Morgan (both artists in their own right) are teaching third grade students in my studio on the top floor of the museum.

Students create unique creatures while attending one of the art classes held each weekend at the Museum.

All of you who support the Society and the Foundation are indirectly involved in these efforts both in our own country and in Panama and I thank you. We are all peoples of one world and our willingness to work for all children is as an important example that America does care not only for its own but for the young of other countries.

That is it for this week. Next week I will talk more about paintings and free time activities. Ciao.


P. Buckley Moss Society Reminder: Members' Only Prints redemption card deadline is Friday, February 20th. Please redeem your card at your local Moss gallery (or the Moss Portfolio if you don't have one) and do not forget to order the porcelain nameplate.

The Moss Portfolio
HC 69 Box 17118 Poplar Grove Lane
Mathews, VA 23109
(800) 430-1320
©P. Buckley Moss 2004

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