Education

Madison Art Students Display Talent in District Art Show

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CONVENT STATION – The main level of the Annunciation Center at The College of St. Elizabeth was turned over to student art for the evening of Tuesday, June 5.

The annual Student Art Show featuring Madison students in grades kindergarten through 12 took over the atrium and several classrooms.

Each of the district’s visual arts teachers could select up to 100 pieces of art, said teacher Jordana Linder. The elementary art teacher said choosing work for the show is the hardest part of the year for her. “I pick what best matches the instruction and direction I give them,” she said.

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“The kids talk about the show all year,” Linder said, adding the Center is a beautiful space. “It allows us to see the progression of our former students as they mature,” she said.

Some of them matured into great success. Three high school seniors received awards from the art program. Four seniors at Madison will attend art school. All are former students of Linder. Among the schools they will attend are Tyler at Temple University, Parson School of Design and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Another student will study graphics at TCNJ, Linder said.

The Art Award went to Erin Salko and the Photography Award to Rachael Cenicola.

Valentina Giordano received the multi-media award. Valentina plans on attending Savannah College of Art and Design as either a photography or illustration major with a minor in painting. Her sister, Angelina, also a graduate of Madison High School, just finished her freshman year at SCAD where she is a dual major in performing arts and film and television production. Angelina, who is 11 months older than Valentina, was also the model for several of her sister’s photographs on display at the show.

MaryAnn St. Jacques teaches at the high school and started a ceramics program last year. This year, the first full year of ceramics, the 10 students in Advanced Ceramics participated in Project Empty Bowl. They designed and crafted bowl which they sold for a suggested donation of $15. They raised more than $1,200, which paid for 12,000 meals for Share our Strength, an organization dedicated to feeding hungry children.

Many of the students had pieces in the Blackwell Street Juried Student Show in April, St. Jacques said.

Elementary art teacher Michael Watson also has a ceramics program for his students.

“A teacher can tell early who is focused and passionate,” he said, noting he has had former students come back and thank him for his classes. He is particularly pleased with the influence art classes can have on students who go into design fields.

St. Jacques noted some of her former students have told her they take an art class or two in college to relieve stress from their academic course loads.

The artwork wasn’t limited to painting, sketching and pottery. Students study two- and three-dimensional design. A group of students collaborated with a creative writing class to make children’s books. Others made shadow boxes based on Disney movies. St. Jacques began a session on wood burning this year. She said the materials are inexpensive and, after a quick safety lesson, the students took to it enthusiastically.

Parents, siblings and many members of the community browsed the artwork. Watson said it’s always an important day for Madison.

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