Nearly 1,000 pieces of art covered the walls and surfaces of West Street’s from the source last week for PS 34’s eighth Annual Art Show. The Indonesian wood furniture store provided a dramatic backdrop for the display, which opened on Wednesday, June 6th before approximately 150 parents, students, neighbors, teachers and faculty. Each student from grades one through five contributed at least one painting, watercolor, drawing, collage, sculpture or tile mosaic created in styles inspired by famous artists they learned about this year.
The show was PS 34’s second off-site exhibit. From the source owner Philip Tuan donated the space and several parents lent their expertise to help put the show together. Town Square sponsored the event – Chairperson Susan Anderson’s son Brent is a 34 student – and Lily Pool’s mom Jane and Beatrice’s parents Jessica Murray and David McMurray installed the artwork. Last year’s art show was part of the opening celebration for St. Nick’s Arts@Renaissance arts space in a restored Greenpoint Hospital building.
In addition to oohing and aahing over the kids’ work, visitors got a look at the students’ preliminary efforts, such as sketches. Materials used by art teacher Lisa Summa to teach about different artists were also on display. Some of this year’s featured artists were Vincent Van Gogh, Jim Dine, Josef Albers, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and architect Antoni Gaudi.
After the opening, Summa spoke about the parent’s overwhelmingly positive reaction to the show. “Several parents came over to tell me that it felt like a private school event. Not just the material covered in art class, but the exhibit itself,” she said. “I felt rewarded that we were able to get the support of our parents and administration to create such a positive experience for the school.” More than 500 students take visual arts classes at PS 34, all taught by Summa.
Anderson sponsored the exhibit to help further the synergy between the school and the parents, encouraging as much parental involvement as possible. “Art education is so important for a child’s overall development. By working together, parents and faculty created a much more positive experience for the kids,” she said, adding that she hopes to sponsor similar events at other local schools. Principal Alicja Winnicki agreed, saying “it’s parents taking such an active role in their children’s education” that helped to make this year’s art show such a huge success.
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