The walls of the RoxArt Gallery in Roxborough are lined with professional artwork for most of the year, but for the entire month of May, those walls are covered with more than 100 pieces created by students from six local schools.
Several of those students, along with their art teachers, celebrated the opening of the Student Art Show with a ceremony and awards presentation on Saturday.
Bernard Guet, executive director of the Roxborough Development Corporation (the gallery’s host), said the show is part of the organization’s goal to promote the arts and encourage youth to appreciate art.
He noted that the show was much smaller – and more manageable – than it was last time.
“We organized one and we were overwhelmed,” he said. “We got more than 500 paintings.” This year, he asked arts teachers to limit the number of pieces they submitted to 25.
Barbara Mail, who teaches art at Green Woods Charter School, said it was difficult to narrow the selections she submitted among all of the work created by her third to eighth-grade students.
“When you’re trying to put together a group, you want something that represents your school well but also shows the breadth and depth of what they produce,” said Mail.
Professional judges were recruited to award the top entries from each school, along with the three overall winners. First place went to Jovon Dennis of Lankenau High School for his piece entitled “Giraffe.” Lucia Santeniello of Green Woods Charter School won second place for “Sprouts” and Oriol Grana-Garriga of Cook-Wissahickon Elementary won third place for “Snowy Cityscape.”
Christina Kimmel, arts teacher at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary, said she chose the pieces from students who were “really dedicated and went above and beyond the expectations of the art room.” She noted that the students were thrilled to see their pieces displayed at a gallery in their own community.
“I think it sets a really good example of what you can achieve if you work hard,” said Kimmel.
Mail said that she thinks it’s great to give students’ work exposure outside of the classroom.
“I always exhibit in school,” she continued, but seeing it in a public gallery “gives them the impression that art is valued more than just by their art teacher or their parents.”
Students from Roxborough High School, Shawmont Elementary School and AMY Northwest Middle School also submitted pieces that are currently on display.
The Student Art Gallery will be on display at the RoxArt Gallery, located at 6111 Ridge Avenue, through the end of May. For more information, call (215) 508-2358 or visit www.roxborough.us.