The sixth annual Finger Lakes regional student painting exhibition at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs consists of 294 pieces by local artists, including 81 students from Newark High School.
This year’s exhibition, “Wild!,” asked students in grades 6-12 from 12 school districts to create something “uncontrolled, unrestrained, undisciplined, unruly, rowdy or disorderly.” All works are on display until May 29.
Joining the Newark artists are students from Fairport, Gananda, Lyons, Manchester-Shortsville, Mendon, North Rose-Wolcott, Palmyra-Macedon, Penn Yan, Phelps-Clifton Springs, Pittsford Sutherland and Victor.
This is the second year for NHS students to participate in the show. In 2018, the exhibition featured works by 18 of Renee Bailey’s students. This year, it expanded to include works by students in classes led by Amy O’Connor and James Zeger.
Bailey teaches the upper level drawing and painting, Advanced Placement studio art, and mixed media classes. O’Connor teaches pottery and advanced pottery courses, and Zeger teaches media arts, photography and arts in culture.
“Having all three NHS art teachers participating with different art classes allowed for more student involvement,” O’Connor said. “It was exciting to see that Newark was one of the largest represented schools at this year’s show.”
Students were encouraged to create on 5-by-7 canvases for the exhibition. O’Connor said they produced their works in stages, going from brainstorming and sketching to their final product over several weeks of class time.
“Some created in clay, media arts, drawings and paintings,’’ she said. “I was blown away by the various interpretations and creative use of different media.”
“I love seeing the theme interpreted in different media, from pottery to media arts and the fine arts,” Bailey said.
Some students attended the gallery’s two-hour open house in early May.
“Students really enjoyed the open house and were excited to see so many people there to view the work,” O’Connor said.
“This show allows our students to exhibit in an art gallery with students from all across the area,” Bailey said. “Most won’t have that opportunity in high school unless they are part of the RIT art show, so this gives them a chance to see works created by their peers and how we stack up against other schools. It proves to them that we do have a very strong art program at the high school level.”
“This was a wonderful experience and something I definitely want to participate in again next year with my kids,” O’Connor said.
“This was a really good opportunity for the high school art students to display their work in a local art gallery,” Zeger said. “It was nice to see administration, school board members, teachers and many students come to the opening of the ‘Wild!’ show. This shows a lot of school spirit! This was a fun event and I am looking forward to next year’s show.”