Student art fills library gallery

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Tue., Mar. 8, 2011
Josh Henry, a senior at RHS, displays his love of architecture with his 'floating city.' Photos by Steve Smith.
Josh Henry, a senior at RHS, displays his love of architecture with his 'floating city.' Photos by Steve Smith.

Hundreds of student artists and their families packed the Edith Peck Room at the Rockville Public Library for the artists’ reception of the Vernon Public Schools Art Department 2011 Student Art Show on March 7.

The show runs through the month of March, and features 482 works of art from students from every grade level in Vernon.

Art department head Jill Goldberg said the goal was to display as many works as possible.

The art teachers selected the works, which vary widely in style, media and length of process.

Goldberg had high praise for her staff. “All the students are talented,” she said, “but these teachers really know how to bring it out in them.”

“Our assignment was to make these shapes everywhere, and color them with markers,” said Collin, a third-grade student at Lake Street School, explaining a non-objective art lesson. “Then we sprayed water on it, to spread the colors. I just wanted to make some shapes and overlap them.”

Goldberg said she also feels a sense of growth in the appreciation of art in the community, and in the strength of the schools’ art curriculum.

Claire Pelino, a junior at RHS, created a pen-and-ink collage combining mostly random images.

“I just thought the images looked nice together,” she said, adding that a pile of salt in the collage took “forever” to draw.

Rachael Tavi, an RHS senior who plans to study art therapy at Emanuel College in Boston, has several works in the show, including another pen-and-ink collage.

“The assignment was to take magazine clippings and make it into an abstract collage,” Tavi said. “It didn't have to make sense. The shading under the chin [of a woman's face] took hours, but I really love the way it came out.”

Josh Henry, a senior at RHS, said his drawing of a floating city, which appears to be literally suspended by roads and railways, stems from his love for architecture, and expresses the important connections of transportation.

“I wanted to put something into a drawing about how everything comes together to support our way of living,” he said. “It’s meant to show how modes of transportation support a whole city.”

“We could paint whatever we wanted for designs,” said Sierra, a seventh-grade student at Vernon Center Middle School. “We had to include a tree, and pick a theme. My theme was me and my sister. We had to bring in two- and three-dimensional objects.”

“We make a really strong emphasis in the curriculum to teach specific knowledge and skills sequentially through the curriculum,” Goldberg said. “Even the high school courses now are set in a sequence so that students can reach the advanced placement level.”

Tavi, whose favorite media is photography, said she really appreciates the education she’s received in Vernon.

“The uniqueness of our program is great,” she said. “Not a lot of schools have wet photography [developing] in their photo program. It's such an advantage. You learn so much more than you would in a digital lab. The teachers are so phenomenal.”


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