New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


New Britain Students Participate in “Dream Rocket” Project

Students at New Britain’s Gaffney Elementary School and Slade Middle School have had the opportunity to participate in a unique art project spanning the globe. Students, with the help of art teachers, created one-of-a-kind panels as part of The International Fiber Collaborative’s Dream Rocket Project. Launched in 2009, the Dream Rocket Project will include up to 8,000 pieces of art, created by individuals from various regions of the world, and then connected side by side to wrap the 365-foot Saturn V Moon Rocket at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The theme of the panels, “Dare to Dream,” challenges individuals to expand beyond the present state of the world and imagine the future. The individual dreams and aspirations, expressed through these panels, will combine to create a massive 32,000 square foot work of art.

Gaffney students’ creation is entitled “A Community of Hearts: The Art Process, Exploring as One.”

Gaffney art teacher Ann Marie Stavola explained what the students’ artwork is about.

“It is the wish of the Gaffney Elementary School community that children throughout the world have the freedom to play, laugh, learn and enjoy a happy and healthy life,” she said.

Gaffney students used mixed media, including acrylic paints, fabric, beads, ribbon and yarn to create the two-foot by two-foot quilted trapunto piece. Embroidery stitches and embellishments are the focus of the composition. Students in Pre-K through fifth grade contributed to the project.

Slade’s panel is all acrylic, with a focus on endangered animals and global warming.

Several of the panels are currently on display at Gaffney Elementary School, 322 Slater Road. They will be available for viewing through October 31. The panels are part of a travelling exhibit going through the country before they are wrapped on the rocket in 2014.

For more information on The Dream Rocket project, visit

A photo of the Gaffney students’ panel can be found at