Generosity & Kindness Part 4: Special thanks to Margot Cheel

In today’s installment of our blog series leading up to #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity on May 5th in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we wish to thank award-winning fine art aerial photographer, author, pilot, and arts educator Margot Cheel. Ms. Cheel donated copies of her book, “What Do You See? Finding Shapes From The Sky” to each of our Latham School students.

“What Do You See” features gorgeous aerial photography of the sea and diverse coastlines. The vivid blues of the sky set in contrast against sandy and rocky shores, swirling sandbars, and tidal flats are captured by the author and photographer from high above the earth as she flies her plane.

Ms. Cheel has this to say about her work:

“Art can do it …soothe, inspire, inform or question. It can open you to new vistas and understanding. That happened for me when I took my first introductory fight and saw the earth below. The view was exhilarating and I was hooked. Soon after, earning my pilot’s license, I brought my passion for flying to my love of the arts. What better way to showcase what’s below than from a view above. It can reveal beauty or fragility; change or connection.”

Our students (and our staff) just loved the book! Reading “What Do You See?” is an interactive experience because the reader is asked what it is they see in the land and sea formations in the photography. One student may see the shape of a whale while another sees a bird flying. It was a lot of fun for the kids to compare what they saw in the photos. One student shared, “This is a beautiful and relaxing book. I can keep it in my room and look at it whenever I want.”

Our distance learning team included “What Do You See?” as part of the “virtual bedtime story series” Latham has been hosting in the evenings. Using Zoom video conferencing, the entire Latham community — both students who have remained on campus during the quarantine, and those who have returned home to be with their families – gather to listen to staff or community members read books aloud. When it is safe to visit, Ms. Cheel has offered to come to Latham to talk to our students about the writing and photography in “What Do You See?”

The gift of these books came at a perfect time. The photographs delighted our students and sparked conversations and story sharing. Thank you, Margot Cheel, for this beautiful gift! We look forward to welcoming you to campus one day soon.

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