Mac Weymouth was greeted with bright smiles and equally vibrant artwork by children at The Pilot School, when he arrived to dedicate their new art studio last week in honor of his father, the renowned artist, conservationist, coach driver and bon vivant, George A. “Frolic” Weymouth.
Weymouth, père, who passed away in 2016, founded the Brandywine Conservancy and Brandywine River Museum of Art, because of his passion for land conservation, art and education. So the dedication was a fitting tribute as the north Wilmington school looks to inspire a new generation of budding artists.
At the dedication, Mac Weymouth took great joy in the students’ love of art and their sun-filled classroom setting.
“Why do you do art?” he asked the students. After a variety of enthusiastic responses, one student exclaimed, “because it’s fun,” to which Mac replied, “When you are my age… I want you to remember that – that it’s fun.
“When you take classes in this room, remember that art is about the whole process. My father, when I grew up with him, wanted to instill that creative spirit.”
Pilot School leaders said their philosophy aligns directly with Frolic’s firm belief in the importance and transformational power of finding joy in art. As art teacher, Mrs. S. explained, “At Pilot School, we teach art, and we tell the kids that it’s not spelling, it’s not math, it can’t be right or wrong.”
Pilot School’s commitment to integrating nature into learning is another value championed by Frolic. Many of Frolic’s works highlight the beauty of the Brandywine Valley. He painted dozens of local landscapes over more than 50 years.
Students inside the art studio are able to gaze at an incredible terrain just outside the large floor to ceiling windows that line the exterior wall of the classroom. The entire school facility is purposefully designed with expansive windows and rock chairs to incorporate nature into everyday experiences.
The art studio’s new logo features a turtle, an animal commonly featured in Frolic’s depictions of the area. Mac explained to the students that the Native Americans who lived in the area thought of the turtle as a symbol for Mother Nature.
After the talk, Pilot students McKinley, Claire, Jack, Finn, Braydon, and Gregory reflected on how nature affects their art and learning. One student expressed, “I think it’s good because we have so much light, and every time we look out at the trees we see different shapes and get ideas for what to draw.” Another reflected, “It really helps if we’re stressed to look outside.”
A teacher himself, Mac believes art plays a critical role in education. In that spirit, the Weymouth family is currently lending the Pilot School two of Frolic’s pieces – “Study of Big” and “Big” – which are on display outside of the art studio.
Mac says the Weymouth family plans to continue lending Frolic’s pieces to the school to inspire the students.
“I grew up with an artistic family and my father was always instilling the creative spirit and the courage to explore in all my creative endeavors, so showing these paintings of a dog shows these kids what is possible and supports Pilot’s mission of instilling the arts in their core curriculum.”