SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The arts took central stage at Spotswood High School yesterday as the Spotswood High School Fine Arts and Graphic Design Departments showed off their creativity with their annual Spring Arts Show. A steady flow of parents, teens, family, friends and staff enjoyed a delightfully festive and intriguing display of art projects that ranged from traditional floral paintings to a Snoopy-inspired ceramic tea set to a pair of sneakers that featured a roller coaster. The Media Center was turned into an art gallery that spotlighted an eclectic mix of art genres, including sculptures, paper mache, mosaics, acrylic paintings, drawings, scratch art, plaster masks, collages and more.
"The Art Show includes several mediums," Spotswood High School Fine Arts teacher, Alyson Collins explained. "The spring art show is a exhibit of all of the premier pieces from the whole school year for all the fine arts courses at Spotswood High School. Graphic design also displays work too."
All of the students enrolled in a Fine Arts and a Graphic Design class at the high school participate in the show.
"The art work gets chosen by the teachers at the introductory level and as the students move up in the program they have more of a choice in the matter and they get a better grasp of what makes a work successful," Collins continued. "The AP Studio students are featured at the show. They have their own boards and host an art opening for the staff."
This year nine young artists had their work featured in the spring show, including Mera Saleh, Katherine Parlitis, Mia Gahrmann, Sarah Fischer, Danielle Kolbasowski, Colleen McPartlan, Danielle Jegou, Emma Tilley and Anne Marie Paprota. The teens proudly posed in front of the boards that showcased nine months of their work.
Joseph Schwartz choses the work displayed by his Graphic Design students. However, the students can veto a piece if he or she isn't comfortable sharing it. Schwartz has been a part of the Graphic Design program for 14 years. Most of the students who come to him don't have any prior experience with the discipline though that was certainly not evident by the body of pieces showcased by the students at the May 11 show. Some students take Graphic Arts I and find a new love that eventually leads to a course of study in design school and an eventual career.
Three of Schwartz' former students went on to become professional photographers while others are engaged in the graphic design field. One student, who has the distinction of being a student of Schwartz' for six years due to some time spent teaching in the Memorial Middle School, surprisingly didn't become a graphic designer. She went on to become an elementary school teacher who uses the techniques and skills she learned in the SHS Graphic Arts Department in her classroom to the delight of her young students.
"A lot of them will come in and until they are actually hands on and doing stuff, don't know that this (graphic design) is an option," Schwartz said.
Along with the eye-catching plethora of art work, a 3-D printer garnered a lot of attention at the art show. The printer was working on printing one of the hottest playthings of late, a fidget spinner.
"All the work in this year's show are beautiful," Collins said. "We are both so proud of our students every year and we are grateful that we have the space to put on a large exhibit for our students. It is their day in the sun, we love watching them shine!"