Tuesday, July 24, 2007

State-wide YAM Celebration

Many teachers, students and their family and friends made the trip to Trenton on a snowy day to view the New Jersey State Youth Art Month exhibit on March 7th. Six pieces of artwork from each county in NJ were selected to be on exhibit by a county YAM committee.
The High School reception was held in the afternoon for all participating 9th to 12th grade students and their teachers and families. At this reception, Lisa Dinhofer, a local artist, shared her experience as an artist and showed slides of her artwork to the students. The students were definitely inspired after seeing Lisa's work. Dale Schmid, the State Coordinator of Visual & Performing Arts, also joined in on the YAM festivities by reading the names of the participating students. Debbie Greh, AENJ Communications Chair, awarded each student with a special YAM Certificate and a black YAM T-Shirt, as Laura Petrovich-Cheney, AENJ Vice-President, photographed the event. Yummy sandwiches and refreshments were enjoyed before the students went back to school.

In the evening, we highlighted our elementary and middle school students in grades K-8. The committee room was packed with families and students in spite of the wintery weather. Carrie Davey, AENJ Advocacy Chair, read the names of the participating students as Susan Bivona, AENJ President, and Linda Devlin, AENJ President-Elect, handed out certificates. Next, the student moved on to our photography station, where Debbie Greh photographed each county group. Finally, the students moved on to our t-shirt station, where Nancy Knutsen, AENJ Historian, and Barbara Calvo, AENJ Membership Chair, helped hand out special teal colored YAM T-Shirts to each student artist. We had the honor of having Dale Schmid attend our evening festivities as well! After the awards, all attendees grabbed some more refreshments and took some more pictures of the artwork before heading home. It was a wonderful and joyous event for all!

Next year's NJ State YAM celebration will take place on Friday, March 14th. To view this year's State YAM artwork, go to www.artsonia.com/schools/aenj1

Hudson County YAM

This year's Hudson County Youth Art Month exhibition took place in the landmark Loew's Jersey Theater in Jersey City. Co-sponsoring the event was the Friends of the Loew's, Inc. who generously donated the use of the space and their services. The exhibition of work by nearly fifty students was viewed by the student artists, proud families and friends, and teachers in the upper promenade of the grand lobby in an opulent setting of red carpet, gilt ceilings, and mirrored walls. Ten art teachers from public and private schools in Hoboken, Jersey City, West New York, and North Bergen participated in the county-wide observance.

Guests admired the art works during the artists' reception on March 14 while student musician, Paul Castillo and friends provided acoustic guitar accompaniment. Parents and teachers were grateful for the opportunity to see the art work of their students exhibited at the venue and also expressed appreciation for the Artsonia on-line gallery. Children were captivated and inspired by the opportunity to create their own collages and drawings on souvenir YAM bookmarks. All the participants in the exhibit were honored with certificates awarded in a brief ceremony that ended with a performance of original music by a student band, The Untied Laces.

Atlantic & Cape May Counties YAM

Atlantic/Cape May Counties held their Youth Art Month Exhibit at the Noyes Museum from March 1st through April 10th. There was a total of 125 pieces of artwork on display. A total of ten schools participated in the exhibit. There was an artist’s reception on Saturday March 24th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and approximately 175 people were in attendance. Every student received a Youth Art Month Artist’s Award featuring one of the winners of the YAM Poster contest. The Atlantic/Cape May Counties are already scheduled to have their YAM 2008 exhibit at the Noyes Museum once again. It always proves to be a successful site for our exhibit.

Camden County YAM

The Echelon Mall in Voorhees was the site of the 2007 Youth Art Month exhibit which featured the works of many talented students from 14 schools. This year’s exhibit included works from every grade level K – 12. Included in the exhibit were works on paper, weavings, masks and papier mache sculpture. Our reception was held on March 25 and was well attended by students, their families and teachers. Congratulations to all our participants and a heartfelt thanks to the community for all their support.

Essex County YAM

Essex County Executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., welcomed almost 100 students from throughout Essex County to the Hall of Records for the Art Educators of New Jersey’s student art exhibit on Thursday, May 3rd. This is the third consecutive year DiVincenzo has partnered with the Art Educators of New Jersey to present the student artists’ exhibit.

During the month of April, the first floor lobby of the Hall of Records was transformed into a student art gallery. Employees and visitors to the county building were treated to the colorful and lifelike portraits, paintings, and drawings.

“Essex County has some very creative and talented student artists at all age levels from elementary to high school. The original artwork that is included in our exhibit is truly inspiring,” DiVincenzo said. “I am proud to partner with the Art Educators of New Jersey for the third consecutive year to present this beautiful exhibit. This is an opportunity to promote our students’ positive achievements and enables the general public to see the talent in our schools,” he added.

“Art is one of the languages that unites the diversity in Essex County,” said Lonnie Austin, an art teacher from Mount Vernon School in Newark and member of AENJ, who organized the exhibit. “I want to thank Joe DiVincenzo for helping to recognize the student artists in Essex County and the hard work that art teachers do. The collaboration of our schools with the county made this possible,” she added.

Cumberland & Salem Counties' YAM

Art created by students from Cumberland and Salem Counties was featured in an exhibit in the Gant Room at the Millville Library, 210 Buck St., Millville New Jersey. The show opened with a reception on March 16th as part of the third Friday festivities in Millville. Even with the bad weather, students and parents came to celebrate the arts and to view two rooms filled with art. The show included handmade books, clay sculpture, along with two dimensional works made with a variety of mediums.

Gloucester County YAM

During the week of March 26th we celebrated Youth Art Month in Gloucester County. A reception sponsored by YAM co-chairs Kathy Gross, Jane Graziano, and Dawn Carson, was held March 29th in Education Hall on the campus of Rowan University. Many of the talented artists attended the event along with their art teachers, friends, and family members. Each student received a certificate for participating in this year’s YAM celebration. Attendees enjoyed refreshments while viewing over 100 pieces of artwork created by students from approximately twenty different Gloucester County schools. It was a wonderful celebration that showcased the artwork of our talented and proud students.

Mercer County YAM

Once again The Hickory Corner Branch of Mercer County Library system cleared their walls and halls to make room for YAM. This is the third year the library has graciously hosted our young Mercer County artists. Artists from K-12 were invited show off their best pieces. This year we exhibited over 100 pieces from around the county.

Mayors from East Windsor, Ewing, Hamilton, Washington Township and West Windsor all proclaimed March as Youth Art Month in their municipalities. Artists, families and teachers were all showered with much praise and applause at our reception. Special thanks to all that participated!

Toms River YAM

On Friday, March 2nd, Toms River art teachers installed over 519 pieces of artwork created by their students. There were 2 galleries of framed HS artwork, 9 panels of grade 6-8 artwork, 6 wooden display racks of K-5 artwork and 15 showcases of 3-D work by students of all ages. There were fish made from Styrofoam balls covered with model magic and painted. Harry Bower's manipulated books were awesome. Elementary paper mache sculptures were cool. One elementary teacher got huge grape leaves from the Renault Winery and students pressed clay on them to create and glaze bowls. Elisa Waller installed her display of painted shoes.

The Toms River Schools Youth Art Month Exhibit and Artists' Reception was on Monday March 5th from 5:30-7:00 PM. The exhibit was available for viewing through the end of March in the main branch of the Ocean County Library on Washington Street in downtown Toms River. At the reception, light refreshments were served and a string ensemble of All-State Orchestra students provided entertainment.

Warren County YAM

Art teachers in Warren County celebrate the achievements and talents of our students in our annual Youth Art Month Art Exhibit hosted by Warren County Arts, a collective of local artists who support the arts in the county. For our students’ art to be shared, we need an audience, and the environment at the Oxford Municipal Gallery, home for Warren County Arts, is intimate and welcoming and makes enjoying the exhibit easy and worth experiencing more than once.
Picking just a few pieces of art to exhibit is a complex and often poignant experience. We chose works which would evoke a response from the viewer, convey the students’ ideas and their love of making art, and which best illustrate our students’ growth as artists and communicators.
Nine Warren County elementary and middle schools participated in the show. Over two hundred works in many media by our exceptional and enthusiastic student artists were displayed for art lovers in our area in this month long exhibit. We love our new home.