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Outdoor art project raises school spirit

Saxe Spirit Benches designed to raise school spirit

Saxe Spirit Benches


Outdoor art is alive and on view at the entrance of Saxe Middle School, even during a pandemic. As part of New Canaan Public School’s virtual club program, a recently formed “Saxe Spirit Benches” club encourages students to be creative and show Saxe school spirit at the same time. The virtual club initiative is designed to keep students connected and in communication with each other during distance learning.

Saxe Spirit Bench

The Saxe Spirit Bench club began earlier this month, meeting once or twice a week, usually on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Led by Saxe Middle School Art Teacher Cara Beatman, the club invites the school’s parents to register to have their children participate in the outdoor activity. At designated painting times, parents bring students to the entrance of Saxe. They are required to stay on-site during their painting appointment, which is about 15 minutes for each student. Masks and gloves must be worn by students the entire time.


“The whole premise of this project is to keep art alive during the pandemic, and to have the students feel like a part of something creative that directly relates to their school,” said Mrs. Beatman. “Once the benches are completed, we will be working on other Saxe-Sprit artworks that can be worked on at home.”

Saxe Spirit Bench

The school provides art supplies, and the art teacher offers guidance from a safe distance. Designs are outlined onto the four benches located at the Saxe entrance, and when students arrive, they are given designated areas to paint with specific paint-by-numbers- guides.


“Our theme is 'Saxe Spirit,’” said Mrs. Beatman. “The students brainstormed ideas and shared them through our Google Classroom. I schedule ‘painting appointments’ so that students have space to social distance. Masks and gloves are always worn, and we are about half-way done.”

Saxe Spirit Bench


Once finished, visitors to Saxe will be able to admire the benches painted with the Saxe Hawk Logo and red, black, and white designs, while appreciating that Saxe Middle School student artists worked on and completed their project while living through a pandemic.