Saturday, July 3, 2010

Senator Gill Proclaims Youth Art Month!

TRENTON – Led by state Senator Nia Gill, the New Jersey State Senate recently celebrated Youth Art Month with passage of a ceremonial resolution recognizing the importance of art education and its contribution to student achievement.

Senator Gill, D-Essex, presented the resolution to Glenfield Middle School art teacher Catherine Kondreck, as well as students and parents from the middle school, Watchung Elementary and Montclair High School.

“Arts education contributes to the positive social, cognitive and personal development of students at all educational levels,” said Senator Gill. “It is fitting during Youth Art Month, which is celebrated nationally each March, to recognize the important work of art educators who open the imaginations of students, encourage creativity and individuality, and in effect, help prepare our children for the world.”

Ms. Kondreck, who accepted the resolution on behalf of the group, also serves as the Essex County Youth Art Month chair for the Art Educators of New Jersey - an organization founded in 1939 that promotes visual arts education statewide. She stressed the importance of art education as a means to foster positive educational outcomes by giving students an outlet for their creative energies.
“Art is so much more than drawing and painting,” Kondreck said.

According to Art Educators of New Jersey, students who participate regularly in the arts are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to class office, awarded for school attendance or to participate in math and science fairs.

“I definitely know that I’ve made so many more friends in Art class,” said Mira Linaugh, a seventh-grade student at Glenfield Middle School. “Every day that I have it, I’m looking forward to it.”

“It’s important for people to express their feelings through art,” said Aliza Sabin, also a seventh-grade student at Glenfield. “And it’s fun.”

Youth Art Month is celebrated to promote the benefits of art education for K-12 students and encourage support for quality school art programs. New Jersey’s celebration includes an exhibit at Newark’s Hall of Records for the month of March, with a reception on March 22, 2010 from 12 PM-1 PM. The exhibit features work from some of Essex County’s most talented students.

Warren County YAM Exhibit

The Warren County Yam Art show for this year was as great a success as last year! Over 200 people attended during the reception with still more coming to visit in the month after.

The Performing Arts Quartet graced the Independence Municipal Building in Great Meadows with wonderful classical music that was a pleasure to listen to. Although the rock music was playing downstairs for the young folk there were some young audiences upstairs enjoying the live music! Food was donated by AENJ and ShopRite!
And a special thanks to the Warren Co. Cultural and Heritage Commission would without their donation of art boards and music we would not have much of a party!

Sussex County YAM Exhibit

Over 200 people attended the Sussex County Youth Art Month reception on March 25, 2010 at the Public Gallery, County Courthouse in Newton. During the entire month of March, over 120 beautiful pieces of artwork created by students from both public and private schools were displayed. This exhibit was truly a delight for the eyes! There are always such positive comments from Courthouse visitors. Many thanks are extended to Sussex County art teachers for providing refreshments. Thank you also to Linda Hirsch and the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council for co-sponsoring this exhibit.

Somerset County YAM Exhibit

The Somerset County Youth Art Month Exhibit was hosted once again by the Somerset Art Association it was a two-part exhibit sponsored by the Art Educators of New Jersey to celebrate Youth Art Month.

Part I of the exhibit displayed works created by Somerset county students in grades K-5 ran March 1-14 with an artist’s reception 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 14.

Part II will showcased works from Somerset county students in grades 6-12 and ran March 18-28 with an artist’s reception 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 28.

The following schools participated: Mount Prospect, Oak Street, Liberty Corner, Cedar Hill & William Annin Middle schools in Basking Ridge, Woods Road in Hillsborough, Central Middle School in Branchburg, Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Bound Brook High School, Somerville High School, Montgomery Upper & Lower Middle school in Skillman, the Robert Morris School in South Bound Brook, Gill St. Bernard School in Gladstone and Purnell School in Pottersville.

Since 1970, the Somerset Art Association has been a strong advocate of quality, educational visual arts programming for children, teens and adults.
"The arts play a vital role in a child's development by helping to build self-confidence, creative growth and the strengthening of critical thinking skills necessary for academic achievement, " says Robyn Tromeur, the association's executive director. "We are delighted to celebrate Youth Art Month once again this year by partnering with the Art Educators of New Jersey, a non-profit organization which aims to promote and maintain the highest possible degree of quality instruction in visual arts programming throughout New Jersey."

Passaic County YAM Exhibit

The Louis Bay Library once again hosted the Art Educators of New Jersey’sPassaic County Youth Art Month Exhibit at the William Monaghan Gallery. This is the 5th year that the Hawthorne branch has been a gracious supporter of the Arts. Mayor Richard Goldberg proclaimed March as Youth Art Month with Karen Sudol, YAM chairperson for Passaic County, at a council televised meeting and also welcomed the guests at the Passaic County reception which was held on March 24th, 2010. The Passaic County Freeholders once again acknowledged the six state Passaic County art students with certificates of recognition representing Passaic County in the State Art Show.

The reception was an exciting festivity. Passaic County T shirts made with the assistance of Kathy Benevento were available for students who participated during the reception as an art project. A special addition to the festivities was the participation of Senator John Girgenti, who provided certificates of recognition for all participating Passaic County YAM students as well as the students who provided the music portion of the evening. Karen Sudol, chair, and Kelly DeFeo orchestrated the evening with entertainment by the Bloomingdale Elementary School chorus followed by North Haledon's chorus and then finally the return of the Clifton strings ensemble integrating music in the art reception. Co-chair Fran Machcinski kept a wonderful table of delicious sandwiches and cookies for the students and guests, while Virginia Phillipy welcomed the students as they entered the reception with Passaic County AENJ certificates. The Passaic County YAM Exhibit hosted over 100 pieces of art work and once again, had quite the festive reception.

Ocean County YAM Exhibit

A terrific time was had by all at the Ocean County YAM reception. Students, teachers, parents and family were all on hand for the beautiful winter day in March. We were excited to have a new venue to display the amazing work done by the students at the Ocean County Artists Guild in Island Heights. The students and parents could really see how important the organizers- Holly Callahan, Karen Blenner, Gayle Hegerich and Heather DeConde- felt in displaying the student work in a gallery setting. The Chair and Co-Chairs were pleased with the turn out and are hoping to have a greater participation from teachers and students next year.

Morris County YAM Exhibit

Morris County’s Youth Art Month celebration is now concluded, and what a celebration it was! Held at the Dover site of Saint Claire’s Hospital, the show treated children, families, teachers, administrators, as well as visitors to the hospital to artworks that showcased our students’ talents and the excellent visual art programs throughout the County. Retired Morristown art educator Janet Soukup was excited to see all the excellent effort while Randolph Arts supervisor David Aulenbach was impressed by all the hard work that went into putting up such an impressive body of work. A newly relocated parent was happy he made the move to Morris County where his young daughter is enjoying art in her new school. There were Kodak moments aplenty as the young artists proudly posed in front of their works with huge smiles. The selections included whimsical sculptures and wonderful two-dimensional pieces that were done in paints, pastels, markers, crayons, and, of course; mixed media collages. All the works celebrated the best of our County’s thoughtful curricula and the excitement generated by our students as they communicated their love and ideas through the visual arts. It’s exciting to see a kindergartener’s art displayed next to older student’s artworks. Where they started and how far they have come is so exciting.

Upon arriving the children and their families were welcomed and signed in by our volunteer greeters. Youth Art Chair Stacy Watson had prepared a sweet gift bag with art supply samples generously donated by Sax-School Specialty, Dick Blick, Nasco, Crayola, and Artsonia. This year’s theme “Planet Earth” resonated on the gift bags, reception and refreshment tables as well as certificates and program covers. Teachers were presented with a YAM Pin and gift folder designed by Randolph’s Center Grove students in the theme. Guest artist David Ohlerking added to the festivities by creating charcoal portrait sketches of those in attendance. Donations made went to the Mary Gill Art Scholarship of Morris County, the only visual art scholarship offered to county art students pursuing a career in the visual arts and accepted into a certified art program. Live music was provided by six talented members of the Randolph High School’s Woodwind Ensemble and added to the beauty of the day. The artwork, from three hundred-ten students from ten districts under the tutelage of nineteen art educators, was enjoyed by all in attendance. Many thanks for a job well done should be extended to all of the above’ but especially to our new Youth Art Month chair, Ms. Stacy Watson, who added so much of herself to this exhibit. She is a young professional who came in with enthusiasm, fresh ideas, and a love for her students and the students of Morris County. Mere thanks don’t seem enough.
Respectively submitted,
Trish Barter-Varrichio
Retired AENJ Art Educator

Monmouth County YAM Exhibit

Once again there was a huge turnout at the Monmouth County YAM Exhibit!

On March 23rd, around 6:00 pm, students, their families, and friends, along with their teachers and some principals, started arriving at the Middletown Arts Center to attend the 2010 Monmouth County Youth Art Month Exhibit and Reception. The reception was the culmination of a two and a half week long exhibit that showcased the diverse talent of students, ranging from kindergarten through high school, from across Monmouth County. There was beautiful artwork to view and light refreshments along with the handing out of certificates and citations to the students. Each student was given certificates from the Art Educators of New Jersey, a place to exhibit their work on Artsonia (the largest International online gallery), and a citation from the New Jersey Legislature signed by Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Assemblyman Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr., and Senator Jennifer Beck. These Legislators also presented each teacher with a citation for their “dedicated efforts in promoting and achieving artistic excellence among their students.” In addition, the Monmouth County Chairs were also presented with an official proclamation endorsing the arts as being an integral part of education in the state of New Jersey.

The show was a multimedia display consisting of more than 125 pieces in a variety of artistic mediums from watercolors, tempera, acrylics, pastels, collage, pen and ink, and photographs, to clay, metal, fabric, packing tape, and wood constructions. The students were thrilled to see their work on display and were delighted to receive the official citation from the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly. Congratulations to all our talented students in Monmouth County and their dedicated art teachers.

Middlesex County YAM Exhibit

During one of the worst storms we’ve had this year, water weary art enthusiasts continued to file into Middlesex County College’s Art Gallery for the annual YAM Exhibit. Seventeen schools and over 50 student artists participated this year. With over 175 guests in attendance the conversations were all about the art. It was as though no one cared about the weather.

Dr.Patrick Piegari, Middlesex County Superintendent of Schools, returned this year to read the proclamation. It was an honor to have him in attendance showing his support for the arts.

Our very own Senator Joe Vitale also addressed the students with inspiring words and was in awe of the talented students represented this year. We were very thankful to have him as our speaker for the event. Having dignitaries of this magnitude sends an important message to educators and students alike that what they’re doing is important.

We were fortunate, considering the economy to receive donations both monetary and in kind which allowed us to reward students with materials so they can continue to create art. A special thank you to General Pencil Company, Staples, and the PTA from South River.

After the last guest exited the building and the room became strangely quiet we had time to reflect back on the day’s events. We had in fact hosted a successful show and we are hoping to continue growing next year.

Mercer County YAM Exhibit

Hunterdon YAM Exhibit

Student artwork from various schools in Hunterdon County, gradesK-12, was on exhibit in the lobby of the Hunterdon Medical Center. A closing reception was held on Saturday, March 27th, from 3:00 pm to 5:00pm, for all participating artists, their family, friends, and their art teachers. Hands-on art activities and refreshments (donated by the Shop-Rite of Clinton, NJ ) were provided. Students who had artwork displayed in the show were also recognized at a 3:30 awards ceremony.

"Nothing encourages children more than a wonderful Visual Arts school program which provides our students with the opportunity to express themselves and let their imaginations soar and creativity flow,"says veteran Clinton Township Art Teacher, Debbie Paragone.

Hudson County YAM Exhibit

We are growing and growing here in Hudson County and it was a very successful Youth Art Month this year for Hudson YAM. We had a total of 161 student artworks this year exhibited at the Central Rail Road Terminal in Liberty State Park. Schools from Jersey City, Hoboken, West New York, and Kearny participated in this year’s show. We had a very generous donation from General Pencil Company’s CEO Jim Weisserborn, whose company is based in Jersey City. Each participating student artist received a pencil pack from the company. Students created Youth Art Month pipe cleaner people as an activity at the closing reception.

Essex County YAM

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. welcomed 100 students from throughout Essex County to the Essex County Hall of Records for the Art Educators of New Jersey student art exhibit on Monday, March 22nd. This is the sixth consecutive year DiVincenzo has partnered with the Art Educators of New Jersey to present the student artists exhibit.

During the months of February and March, 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 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 sixth 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 throughout the County," he added.

This year's show featured original works of art created by 100 students who range in age from elementary school to high school level. The students came from 34 different Essex County schools.

Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem YAM Exhibit

In March, I ventured off to the southern part of New Jersey. The CUMBERLAND, GLOUCESTER & SALEM COUNTY YAm show was an amazing event. YAM Chairs Sandra Koberlein and Kathy Gross put together a beautiful show. The facility was filled with art from floor to ceiling . What I found interesting was the wide array of art. In addition to the creative and beautiful hung work there was book art, junk art, group art, collective sculpture installments. Wow! It was all great!
Beyond the exhibit the YAM chairs had set up activities for creative expression. There were opportunities for kids to create paint draw or even participate in an empty bowls event. There were opportunities to make bowls, or glaze bowls. The bowls will be fired and saved for an empty bowl soup day in the future.
This was a wonderful YAM show at a facility that I have never been to. Appel Farms Arts and Music Center in Elmer NJ is a rare gem for the state of New Jersey. I met Mr. Appel and was honored to take a tour of this facility. Through his love of the arts he has created this enclave for children and adults. This facility is beautiful! There are art studios and galleries, kilns, performing arts theaters and so much more. Check out their web site!

Camden County YAM Exhibit

This year’s Camden County Youth Art Month celebration included a month long exhibit held at the Cherry Hill Public Library. The library graciously donated their gallery space for the event. The library is a very busy place and the student’s artwork was viewed seven days a week by hundreds of people daily. Students, their families and friends as well as their art teachers attended a reception held at the library on Tuesday evening March 9th where students received a certificate for participating in the event.

Burlington County YAM Exhibit

This year the Burlington County YAM was on exhibit at the North Hanover Township Upper Elementary School located in Wrightstown NJ. This exhibit had a spacious lobby along with showcases for 3D art work this year!
The closing reception was held Friday Evening March 26th with awards, light refreshments and an Art Palette shape cake! Over 250 people were in attendance.
Burlington County Chair Pat Carper-Brown along with her two co-chairs Kathleen Cunningham and Sherry Springsteen want to thank everyone who helped make this another successful YAM!

Bergen County YAM Exhibit

This year many proud teachers, principals, board members, parents, students, and more participated in this years 2010 Youth Art Month opening reception on Thursday night, March 11th at IKEA, Paramus. Students volunteered to help out with hand-painting, free-time drawing table, and more. Children were so excited to draw with the volunteers and have their hand/face painted. Teachers, students, parents, and staff at IKEA helped out with donating refreshments. Park Avenue Bakery in East Rutherford also provided us with wraps and snacks.
The Bergen County Executive, Dennis McNerney, visited and commended all schools and teachers who participated with YAM 2010. Schools and teachers all received certificates for putting all efforts together in order to create this huge county show.
“Thank you to all of the Bergen County teachers for putting the time and effort for this huge and important event dedicated to the Arts”. Genecie Camacho-Azzollini

Atlantic and Cape May YAM Exhibit

Atlantic/Cape May County Youth Art Month Exhibit 2010 was held at the Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville, NJ. The Noyes Museum has graciously opened their student gallery to YAM for the past several years. There were over 260 in attendance. The Youth Art Gallery was alive with artists, their families and friends. The event was also attended by Atlantic County Special Services Superintendent, Lizbeth Buoro, who commented, “Wonderful exhibition- What talented artists!” AENJ’s Barbra Calvo and Jude Harzer were on hand to lend support and aided greatly in taking photos and extending warm welcome to all guests. Guests snacked on food and drinks donated by participating teachers, businesses, and organizations. Students received beautiful certificates designed and donated by graphic artist William Ezell. Students were also recognized for their achievements by Cape May County Senator Jeff Van Drew as they each received a signed commendation. Atlantic County Senator James Whelan personally came to congratulate the student artists. The Sweeney family of Atlantic County summed up the days events in their comment “Love this show!”

On March 6, 2010, AENJ board members, Barbara Calvo and Jude Harzer attended the Atlantic and Cape May Counties’ YAM exhibit to support students and educators alike. Held at the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ, the show featured works from 11 schools and 136 students. Impressive recycled object sculptures, cast paper multicultural masks and Pop Art tempera self portraits were some of the works that were included in the YAM student display.
YAM county co- chairs, Kathy Nichols and Lisa Confora, helped to arrange the event with assistance from colleagues, students and other volunteers. Senator James Whelan was among the many guests who attended this year’s exhibit. Another special guest : Senator Jeff Van Drew ,was unable to attend but sent a signed commendation for each of the participating student artists. Administrators such as Atlantic County Special Services School District Superintendent, Ms. Elizabeth Buoro ,colleagues, family, and friends joined to celebrate the successes of the many young artists that were represented in this show.
After viewing the YAM exhibit, guests enjoyed an abundance of delicious refreshments and were able to view the Noyes Museum special galleries which included an exhibition of works by Susan Reese Horvitz and Robert Roesch entitled, “Transduction: Myths of The Sea and The Solar Boat”, and a group clay artist exhibit entitled: Mish Mash Strikes Back:
Contemporary Clay Redefined.
Congratulations to all of our Atlantic and Cape May County students for sharing their beautiful Art . The entire display reflected the passion and high level of quality art education that exists in these NJ schools. Bravo!