Eighth Grade Art Project on Public Display at the Creative Arts Center

Pocantico Hills eight grader, Arielle B., noted that her apron represents her interest in botany.

Guests visiting the David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center were in for a real treat when they had an opportunity to view the Eighth Grade Art & Textile Design Show on March 14. The artwork, consisting of paintings and aprons made by Pocantico Hills Central School, were hung throughout the gallery space.

The work was part of a combined project with their art class and Family and Consumer Sciences course. After visiting the grounds of the Creative Arts Center, on the property of the Rockefeller estate, Kykuit, students were assigned to paint an inspirational vista that they saw there.

For the aprons, students used fabric to not only design a functional article, but also one that represented the career they hoped to have in the future.

Art teacher Jolene Morotti said after she and FACS teacher Alyson Morilla visited the new art gallery she developed the idea for the project. Ms. Morotti later brought student to the estate where they photographed areas of interest, which were then used to create their paintings. The project took about 10 weeks to complete.

Throughout the galleries the artwork hung up for all to view and included a QR code which guests could scan to hear the artist discuss their painting.

Emma K. said she had never done anything like this art project before and was intrigued with the fountains at Kykuit when she first saw them.

“I am always amazed at what students accomplish in my classroom,” Ms. Morotti said. “I am lucky that I get to see the starting point of an initial photograph, share ideas they have and see it take off from there.”

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” student Emma K. said as she stood by her painting. “I thought it was fun.”

In addition to all the fine art on display, guests were able to watch a student made video that depicted students as they worked through each step of the project. It showed students visiting the grounds, their painting in the art classroom as well as the sewing they did in the FACS lab.

The Pocantico Center Manager, Elly Kelly, welcomed guests as they arrived.

“It’s furthering our mission to become a creative art force,” she said of the center that opened 18 months ago. “We want to be a community resource for the schools.”

“We were all so blown away seeing the space come alive,” she continued.

Throughout the gallery space the students’ aprons were hung up on large display boards that also included their photo. The textile project had students learning how to create a flat sketch, cut patterns and use the classroom Bernina sewing machine.

“I liked the process,” student Arielle B. said as she shyly stood by her apron while her mom took photos.

Her apron, she said, depicted her interest in botany as it had green birds and flowers on it.

Student Zoe A. said she has an interest in Greek mythology and incorporated that in her piece “Eclipse’s Embrace.” She incorporated her desire to be a biostatistician in her apron.

“I love all kinds of sciences,” she said, noting how she embordered a purple double helix on her apron.

“It’s great as a class we got to do this,” Zoe said. “We set an example.”

Photos by Alicia Smith, SWBOCES

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