Now in its 25th year, the Annual Sherman School Art Show is celebrating a momentous milestone.
To put this in perspective, over 25,000 creations made by every single student in the elementary and middle school grades have been prominently displayed for everyone to see and enjoy over the past 25 years.
As for what it takes to pull this event off year after year, the effort is massive and speaks volumes. Through the years, over 1,250 volunteers have worked behind the scenes to put it all together. They have transformed the school’s ordinary multipurpose room into an extraordinary and magical place where pure creativity shines for two magnificent days.
Open to art enthusiasts young and old, exhibit hours will take place on Wednesday, May 10, and Thursday, May 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The highly anticipated opening reception will be held on Wednesday, May 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
To celebrate this marked occasion, Alisyn Hamilton, the Sherman School’s passionate art teacher and art show curator, who’s also celebrating 25 years with the school, has plenty in store for all to see… and hear.
“Our newest, exciting addition to the art show is a fifth-grade project that collaborates Art and Music. Last summer, a generous gift was given to both programs. This made it possible for me to work closely with Mr. Steven Trinchillo, our music teacher, to design this project,” she said.
Alisyn added, “all fifth-grade students studied the history and art culture of West Africa. Each student created a Doumbek drum in Art class and added personalized Adinkra symbols and specific colors as meaningful decoration. The students are now learning to play their drums in Music class. As a culminating activity, they will perform with their instruments at the Spring Concert in early May.”
Another collaborative project involved sixth-graders writing haiku poems in Language Arts class and they illustrated them in Art class. “These beautiful little gems were each installed in small jewel boxes. A treasure to be sure!” she said. These students also created original radial designs with their names included in the actual designs.
Alisyn has some more surprises in store for attendees this year, including many returning favorites. She has added several new drawing and painting projects to the art curriculum for elementary school students and their artwork will be unveiled at the show.
Last year, preschool teachers selected artwork they did with the children and their creations were included in the art show. This year, they have received personal art instruction with Alisyn. She has been teaching these young students “fundamental art skills that will prepare them for kindergarten,” and these pieces will be included in the art show as well.
What Alisyn loves the most about the art show is how the larger Sherman community “enthusiastically continues to honor our artists and wants to share their works.”
Jody Clark, a Sherman School paraprofessional who has helped in the art room for five years, enjoys seeing how excited the children get when their pieces are in the show. “They appreciate and are so proud that their hard work is going to be displayed for family and friends,” she said.
Ashleigh Blake, art show chair for three years and heavily involved volunteer for six years, loves the diversity and creativity of the students’ artwork that gets produced throughout the school year. As a designer who has studied art for many years, she’s “impressed with the works of these budding artists” and “feels fortunate that Mrs. Hamilton has created such a wonderful artwork program.” She finds the projects and mediums to be challenging to the students’ and is “amazed by the color palettes, composition and overall content.”
Gina Romano, Alisyn’s designated art show assistant who has volunteered a tremendous amount of time over the past three years, said, “the art show is the most beautiful exhibit of student work I have ever seen. So much of what they create is related to other curriculum. It exhibits the high quality of the school’s art program and its commitment to the various disciplines it represents. A lot goes into it. It’s worth it because it is an acknowledgment of the importance of their work.”
Back by popular demand is the Ice Cream Social Fundraiser on opening night. Ice cream and sprinkles galore will be served up by faculty and staff. Sponsored by the Sherman Education Association (SEA), the cost is $2.50 per sundae and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Pat Warde Scholarship Fund. There will be an abundance of raffle gift cards and baskets to win, too.
Cathy Davidson, a kindergarten teacher and SEA member who assists both committees, said, “the Pat Warde Scholarship, established in 2012, honors the late Pat Warde, our esteemed colleague who was our school’s remedial teacher and member of the community. She was a passionate educator devoted to bringing out the very best in her students.”
Each year, the Association presents the Pat Warde Scholarship annually to two Sherman School eighth grade students who receive $100 each, and two former Sherman School students graduating from high school, who receive $500 each.
As an extra special touch, some of Steven’s talented student musicians will play their music on opening night. “This is a great chance for students to perform on their instruments in a low-pressure environment while providing additional entertainment for those enjoying the artwork on display. Their background music creates a nice ambiance for the Art Show, he said.
Also adding to the show’s ambiance are “flowers and shrubs donated by Locust Glen Garden Center,” said Alisyn.
Admission to the art show at the Sherman School is free and everyone is welcome to attend.
Article and photos by Alicia Sakal. Originally written for Town Tribune.