“The Colorful 8th Grade Minds,” an exhibition designed and assembled by eighth-graders from Allegany-Limestone Middle School, opens at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Under the guidance of Nicole Missel, an art teacher at Allegany-Limestone, and Sean Conklin, assistant curator at the Quick Center, 54 students created artworks in several media to be shown in the first-floor Front Gallery of the Quick Center.
Missel first had students curate a semester’s worth of class projects and select their best work for display. The students then collaborated on an exhibition proposal, which they submitted to the Quick Center in order to undertake a gallery show.
“With the changes in the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts, I knew I wanted to look into our local resources. We are fortunate to have the Quick Arts Center in our community with such wonderful people who are so willing to work with local schools,” said Missel.
Recently adopted by New York state, the P-12 Learning Standards for the Arts (dance, music, theater, visual and media arts) are based on the 2014 National Core Arts Standards and are centered on four main objectives for the visual arts: creating, presenting, responding and connecting.
The Allegany-Limestone students learned about various methods of display and exhibition flow, how to matte and frame works, how to construct and design labels, artist biographies and informational panels, and how to market their exhibition.
“Sean Conklin went above and beyond by coming into my classroom numerous times, teaching me and my students so much about what goes into a gallery show, said Missel. “I loved seeing my students working at the gallery putting up their work and fussing about all of the details. It was a wonderful experience and something I am very proud of. I am truly excited for the opening.”
Conklin thinks the project is a great way to demonstrate how museums can play an integral role in the education process.
“I think the adoption of arts-specific standards by New York state is a really powerful thing because it shows the arts are moving back to a place of importance in our education systems. As an ALCS alumnus and former student of Mrs. Missel, I can think back to projects in her class that piqued my interest in art history and probably helped lead me to my current career. My goal is that these types of projects do the same thing for the next generation of ALCS students,” said Conklin.
Ludwig Brunner, executive director of the Quick Center, said it is always astounding to see the creative minds of young students at work.
“This is indeed a very colorful exhibition and the students can be proud to see their artwork on view in St. Bonaventure University’s cultural showcase,” Brunner said.
The exhibition, which will open at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23 with a cookie and hot chocolate reception, will be on view until Feb. 6. The local community is invited to the opening. Admission to the Quick Center is always free.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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