Each spring, the Museum is proud to showcase the creativity and talent of local students through the Annual Student Art Show. This year alone, the artwork of over 2200 students in elementary, middle and high schools in the Corning/Painted Post area is on display in the Museum’s Auditorium. While the process to plan the show begins in January, area students excitedly anticipate the art show as soon as the school year begins each fall. I sat down with Louise Maio, Public Programs Planner for the Museum and organizer of the student art show for almost forty years, to learn a little bit more about this annual event.
Throughout the school year, teachers from the thirteen participating area schools are asked to select works from their students to be included in the show. The week of the opening, these teachers are invited to help hang the show and place all the artwork from their schools on specially designed boards.
The Auditorium is a flurry of activity the week before the opening, as everyone prepares for the event and works to display each piece. The day of the opening, students and their families, along with area teachers and administrators, are invited to an opening ceremony, where each participating student receives a signed certificate, congratulating them on having their work included. Several special works are also chosen to grace the cover of the program, poster and invitations for the show. These are framed and presented at the ceremony.
Over the years, as the number of participating schools and students has grown, Louise has worked to add other awards to the program. Middle and high school works are currently judged in twenty different media categories by invited judges from the community. For the first time this year, the medals awarded are made of glass. This year judges awarded 208 blue glass stars for first, second and third place.
Another special part of the ceremony is the awarding of scholarships to local seniors who are looking to pursue art in college. Having organized the student art show for many years, Louise enjoys seeing a familiar name win the scholarship, as she as seen the student’s work change and grow over the years as they participated in the show.
When asked about her favorite part of the Student Art Show, Louise describes seeing the pride and excitement on each child’s face as they take their parents to see their work. “The students love the opening,” Louise explains, as she emphasizes the goal of the show; to give recognition and encouragement to each young artist.
The Annual Student Art Show is on display in the Museum’s Auditorium through May 9th. Check out more photos of the show installation on our Flickr stream.