Stories & Photos: Students use art to reflect on distance learning

In early May, the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History invited people to share their personal stories, pictures, and video clips of how they are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Students from Brandon answered the call. Neshobe Elementary School art teacher John Brodowski reached out to the Sheldon and provide some background and some student work. What follows is some of the students' work.

During the spring of 2020 students at Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon participated in distance learning, including the students involved in art classes. Since the school building was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students, families and teachers were challenged to connect, teach and learn remotely using the internet or paper packets delivered to homes. The work you see here was created in response to a final, optional art assignment.

The assignment asked students to think carefully about something significant that has changed in their everyday lives since the beginning of distance learning. They were asked to take a photograph that represents or shows this change. Students were also asked to write about the change and how it relates to their photograph. Parents and students were encouraged to work together on the project in the hope that it would foster an interesting discussion about the very unusual circumstances we all currently find ourselves in.

The students also learned a little bit about documentary art and specifically about the artist and photographer Walker Evans. The project was done in collaboration with Middlebury’s Henry Sheldon Museum, which has collected and archived this student work.

— John Brodowski, art teacher

Click on the links below to see what some of the children said and to view their photos.

Braeden James Waldie — 6th grade

Solon Jude Berry-Barrett — Age 9

Rylee Hall — Age 8

Jordan Hemple — Grade 4

Jacob Therrien — Age 7

Sienna Many

Sigourney Brodowski — Age 7

Odin Waldie (Braeden’s little brother)

Silas Waldie (Braeden’s other little brother)

If you would like to share your stories or artwork with the Sheldon Museum, please email them to with the subject "COVID-19 Stories."

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