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Student art featured at 6th Annual Finger Lakes Regional Student Painting Exhibition

Eighty one Newark High School art students’ artworks depicting something “uncontrolled, unrestrained, undisciplined, unruly, rowdy or disorderly” are currently among the 294 on display in the Main Street Arts 6th Annual Finger Lakes Regional Student Painting Exhibition entitled “Wild!”

The other 213 artworks were created by students from 11 other area school districts in the region for the 6th through 12th grade exhibition that will run until May 29th on the second floor of the Clifton Springs Art Gallery located at 20 West Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m..

Besides Newark, participating districts include 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 NHS students have participated in the show. Last year the student painting exhibition featured the works of 18 of Renee Bailey’s students. This year it was expanded to include works by Amy O’Connor and James Zeger’s students. Bailey teaches the upper level drawing and painting classes, the AP Studio Art class and Mixed Media; O’Connor teaches pottery and advanced pottery courses; and Zeger teaches media arts, photography and arts-in-culture courses.

“Having all 3 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.

For the exhibition, participating students were encouraged to create on 5×7 canvases. O’Connor said the student artists produced their works in stages ranging from brainstorming, sketching to their final product during several weeks of class time.

“Some created in clay, media arts, drawings and paintings,’’ she said.

“I love seeing the theme interpreted in the different medias from pottery to media arts to the fine arts,” Bailey said.

“I was blown away by the various interpretations and creative use of different media,” O’Connor said.

Some of the NHS students whose work is on display attended the 2-hour open house May 4th. A few of them appear in the photos below taken by O’Connor.

“The students really enjoyed the open house and we’re 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!

“Wow! Our @Newark_HS Art students blew me away with their hard work and talent,“ Superintendent Matt Cook said after attending the open house at Main Street Arts.

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