|Artist: Lung Ung, CAPA, 11th Grade, Teacher: John Fanti|
The exhibition currently mounted in The Art Gallery at City Hall is "A Plus Art - An Annual Celebration of Student Art." This exhibition is a selection of some of the best art from students in Philadelphia’s public schools. Each year, The School District of Philadelphia organizes an exhibition of approximately 1,500 works of art at the School District Administration Building on North Broad St. Working in partnership with the District’s Office of Comprehensive Arts Education, we have chosen works that highlight our children’s artistic achievement in what we hope will be an annual exhibition in City Hall.
This exhibition is also a testament to the many dedicated art teachers in the School District, as well as the arts administrators who emphatically believe that a quality arts education is an important part of a child’s critical development. Dr. Dennis Creedon, the Director of Comprehensive Arts Education, and Tessie Varthas, Content Specialist-Art Education were instrumental in the organization of this exhibition. Despite the many challenges our students must often overcome, it is our shared responsibility to nurture their talents and provide them with an opportunity to shine. For some students, the arts gives them a sense of unlimited possibilities. Each of the students in this exhibit will be honored with a Mayoral Certificate of Excellence.
When I was a young public school student in New York City MANY years ago, I exhibited in a similar show of the best work by public school students. I still remember the pride and optimism it gave me as a young artist. I am honored to now be able to pass on that experience to this very talented group of students, and I wish them great success.
|Group Project, Central High School|
In mounting this show we had to think about the function of this relatively new gallery space. Some in the arts community have indicated a preference for a focus on only the work of professional artists. Others have pushed for a focus on community-based art - by students, seniors, and others that do not normally get the benefit of gallery exhibition of their work. This debate has also swirled around the possibility of an art gallery exhibition space at the new expanded Convention Center - in the end a tentative decision was made there to have a tri-part focus: K-12 student art; art by the students at our many art schools, such as PAFA, UArts, Moore and Tyler; and work by professional artists. At the Art Gallery at City Hall we have decided to serve the role the arts play in our civic life, and the many forms that can take. We will sometimes highlight student art and hope this show can become an annual event. We will tie into such citywide festivals as Design Philadelphia (our next show!) and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts next year, and we will sometimes serve as an extension space for the Art in City Hall exhibition program. We will be eclectic, we will always seek partnerships in our exhibitions, and always strive for the highest quality. I believe providing a showcase for the work of the best of our young student artists is a perfect use for this new gallery space. I also had the pleasure of welcoming students on the first day of class at CAPA, our School District specialized arts high school - and many CAPA students are represented in this show.
I am remiss in not having written about this show earlier, so I hope that all my Philadelphia readers that may not have seen the show yet will come see it before it ends in a few days.
Here are the details:
The Art Gallery At City Hall
"A-Plus Art" August 9 - October 1
A selection from the 2009-2010 School District exhibition.
Room 116, East Portal Market St. Entrance.
10 am - 4 pm weekdays