Thursday, March 17, 2011

3rd Annual TraillWorks Student Art Show Opens

There is a wonderful feeling when you walk into your own exhibition. You see the work as a true extension of yourself. Win or lose, your interests have led you to an accumulation of your personal expression, signed lower right, mounted to best advantage.(Robert Genn)

Works by Monica Solano, Alyse Delaney, and Laurel O'Rourke
Saturday night marked the opening of the 3rd Annual TraillWorks Student Exhibition, which happens to correlate with Youth Art Month. As talks of cuts to art programs are discussed around the country, over 15 student artists exhibited their works that they created over the past year. I'm so proud of their hard work, creativity and ingenuity, as well as the large number of students that wanted to exhibit. Creating artwork is certainly our focus of lessons at TraillWorks, but I deeply believe in showing student work and allowing students to experience in the process of a piece from creation to completion with it hanging on a wall or on display. We artists can spend hours toiling away at our craft, but if it artwork remains hidden, in my opinion, it doesn't much exist.

Students looking at the artwork
Some of my Saturday students

Student, Katelyn O'Connor, viewing the artwork

Students also need to see work of other students. My lessons are very intimate, with six students in the largest class. It's important to see what other ideas and techniques are being worked on, enabling their vision to widen. My students brought friends and family with them to the gallery to show of their accomplishments. For about three hours, students and their guests streamed in and out, looking at the work of other students, as well as their own. The students had an opportunity to meet and talk to the other students and learn more about each others' artworks. As part of the exhibit, students were asked to write a short reflective statement which I hung next to each piece. 

Heart-shaped Sugar Cookies by Maddie Chymiy - Voted Most Artistic
Food is always an important aspect of a reception and in this one I made it the secondary focus of the show. I invited attending students to enter a food item, sweet or savory, to be judged by the guests for its creativity and artistic presentation. This was a nice way of creating a participatory environment, but also avoided giving awards out for the artwork. We had over ten entries - see all of them on the TraillWorks Facebook Page. Three participants won for the most artistic, the top entry being one of my youngest students, Maddie Chymiy, for her painted heart cookies. Phillip Nezamis won in second place for his Rice Krispy castle, and Hannah Manning, Nikki Manning, and Jessica Sparling tied for third place for their individual entries. A fourth award was given to a guest who didn't personally enter, but voted. Dr. Kevin Shaw was randomly selected as the winner. All four winners were offered a choice of prizes ranging from a lesson credit at TraillWorks, gift certificates to local merchants, restaurants, a Dick Blick gift certificate, and an Art Gallery Cookie package from A Cake Dream

My husband, Lee, our son, Joel, Corrie Guddemi, and William Somma drawing during the reception
Joel and Me as he was leaving.
Families of the students
Being a family affair, my husband, Lee, and our son, Joel came by for awhile. Many of my students and their families have been around since I was pregnant and have watched Joel grow from a newborn, to an infant, and now a funny little toddler. My associate, Corrie Guddemi, my student, Will Somma, and my husband, Lee, all sat down with Joel to get a little creative. He loves coming to Mommy's studio, and he didn't want to leave. I'm ever so grateful for the supportive and loving clients I have that have embraced Joel since his very beginning. 

Many congratulations to all of the talented and eager students that I have had the joy of teaching, many for over five years now in Sussex County. I hope that TraillWorks will continue to be your choice for artistic growth, now into the future.
Visit our Facebook Page to view a full photo album of the art show.

No comments: