Saturday, July 3, 2010

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

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