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Raelyn Crofut, paints flowers in the preschool room of Happy Days Playschool in Arlington on Tuesday morning. The painting, was provided by a collaboration with Vermont Arts Exchange and the Happy Days playschool which incorporates art in a school setting.

ARLINGTON >> Flower monsters, or pieces of spring art, were painted at Happy Days Playschool on Tuesday.

Kristen Blaker, an artist instructor at Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE), has worked with Happy Days students for four weeks to brainstorm an art project idea. After conversing with the teachers, Blaker said flower monsters would be the subject.

Children ages four to six broke up mosaic tiles, which is where the monster label stemmed from, and decorated a plaster strip shaped as a flower with bottle caps, pieces of wire and metal. On Tuesday, the masterpieces were painted with a q-tip paint brush.

"It's a creative experience," Blaker said. "We give them the basic template and they take it in their own direction."

Happy Days brings in an artist at least once a year to conduct a project, teacher Andrea Roya said.

"If there's interests, we want to bring in the creative process," Blaker said. "It's not about the end product. They're making the decisions."

Director Carol Barbierri said she's looking forward to a family night where the kid's art will be displayed.

"We're very excited to be collaborating with Vermont Arts Exchange," she said. "This is our first time. We've worked with the Vermont Arts Council and other artists in the past."

Happy Days is the only early care and education center in the Arlington-Sunderland-Sandgate area and enrolls 160 children per year, up to 12-years-old. It was established in 1984, according to its website.


VAE has partnered with many community entities for 30 years, including the Village School of North Bennington, Lake Paran, John G. McCullough Library, Head Start of Bennington County, Hiland Hall Garden, and many more. For more information visit

—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.