Region 15 schools are observing Youth Art Month again this year with a display of local student artwork in the Gloria Cachion Art Gallery of the Southbury Public Library, 100 Poverty Road, Southbury. The exhibit can be viewed at the library from March 2nd to March 29th, 2021, and is also accessible online through the Southbury Public library website https://www.southburylibrary.org/.
A selection of two-dimensional mixed media, paintings, photography and drawings created by Region 15 students in Kindergarten through 12th grade will be on display, including work from students in Advanced Placement Fine Art and Photography classes.
The displays coincide with Youth Art Month; a program administered nationally by the Council for Art Education (CFAE) and is celebrated by the Southbury Public Library and the Region 15 community. The event emphasizes the value of art education for all students, encourages support for quality school art programs and provides a medium for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences.
This year’s collection includes a piece from Mary Vas, a student in the Drawing and Painting 2 course, who was selected to participate in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) eighth annual Emerging Young Artists (EYA) exhibition at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The highly competitive annual high school juried exhibition recognizes the exceptional merit of art students from high school art programs in New England. Her work titled, “Collage Cat,” represents the collage technique of art creation, which was
coined by cubist artists Braque and Picasso; the term “collage” comes from the French word coller, or “to glue.”
“Through various mediums and innovative approaches to self expression, my students create meaningful bodies of work that tackle contemporary and personal issues,” said Florin Firimita, a teacher in the Fine Arts Department at Pomperaug High School.
Morgan Foss, a student in the Advanced Placement Fine Arts course at Pomperaug High School (PHS) will also have a piece included in this years’ collection. Morgan was recently awarded an Honorable Mention in the prestigious 32nd annual Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards held at a virtual exhibition through the Silpe Gallery at the University of Hartford in Hartford, CT in February for her digital art titled, “Paranoia.” Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process.
In addition, selected pieces from PHS senior Brynn Paccione will be on display. Brynn recently accepted an offer to attend the highly selective Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. The exhibit will include her oil paintings titled, “Holiday Memories,” showcasing a refined color pallet and intricate details, and “Strawberry Shortcake”, a piece that demonstrates her experiment with composition through the principles of design. Brynn shared that her artwork is “inspired by things around me, experiences I've had, things I've seen or witnessed, or even an object in front of me.”
“Right now, art and creativity are of critical importance on multiple levels. Engaging with the arts in every form has allowed our faculty and students to come up with new ways to connect, collaborate and advance skills,” said Jeromy Nelson, Director of Fine, Applied and Technical Arts in Region 15.
As the exhibit includes art from some of the youngest students in Region 15, work from Pomperaug Elementary School (PES) Kindergartener, Shaurya Kundu is also included. The work is inspired by the self-taught African American folk artist, Clementine Hunter, known for her painted depictions of early 20th-century plantation life in Louisiana. Shaurya used gel crayons to create “zinnias" following Hunter’s colorful oil paintings that do not rely on traditional perspective, but instead employ flat panes of color and shifts in scale to carve out spaces and objects in her inventive renderings of her day-to-day activities. The students studied artist Clementine Hunter in recognition of Black History month in the district.
Eyad Ghrewati, a fifth grade student at PES, painting of an "animal portrait"; will also be included in the Youth Art Month celebration. The portrait of a lizard was first drawn from an
image using direct observation, then rendered with watercolor using an analogous color scheme. “We appreciate the opportunity to share our students’ work with the community and to demonstrate the value of art education for all children. In a year like none other, we are grateful for the opportunity for our students to be able to share their talents with the community, as the availability to publicly display their work has been limited. Supporting our artists and quality art programming is an integral part of our educational curriculum,” said Nelson.