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Anoka Middle School for the Arts Fred Moore campus turns into llama farm for a week-long event

(10/14/2020) The lawn along South 5th Ave. at Anoka Middle School for the Arts (AMSA) Fred Moore campus was turned into a llama farm the week of Oct. 6 for a unique llamas-in-Llamas in residency at AMSA residency program.

Carlson’s Llovable Llamas in Waconia provided a herd for students in drawing and ceramics classes to draw and sculpt pieces of work with llamas as their subject. Distance learning students created artwork virtually while hybrid learning students in Cohorts A and B joined the llamas out in the lawn for an up-close look.

The opportunity was a hit for both students and staff alike.

“Having the resident llamas at AMSA was in one word — magic,” said Chris Bowman, visual arts teacher at AMSA. “For four days, the front lawn of our school was transformed into a collaborative artistic learning space. Students learned to look closely at what they saw to translate the 3-D world onto a 2-D page.”

Students in fabrics arts classes at AMSA also had the opportunity to learn from farmer, Rick Carlson, about how wool from the llamas is made into yarn.

“My students loved listening to Rick about how they shear the llamas (only the body, not the neck and legs) and use the wool for wet and needle felting and how the wool is also made into yarn,” said Connie Reski, fabric arts teacher. “Each skein is from an individual llama, nothing is mixed. Students also loved that each llama had its own name. It was such a wonderful experience.”

View photos of the unique experience at AMSA.