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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Welcome Back - Why Arts Matter...

Welcome Back to School

As I was reading the Star Ledger last weekend, I came across this article. It seems the perfect kick-off to a new school year (to read the full article, just CLICK on the title below).

Back to School Night is Tuesday, September 16, 2008. I will be available in the Art Room from 6:00pm - 8:30pm. Please stop by to see our beautiful work space and learn about what your child will be creating in Art Class this year!

Hope to see you there!
Most sincerely, Susan Bivona

Why arts matter...

by Star-Ledger Staff
Saturday September 06, 2008, 10:00 PM

Star-Ledger critics don't ever want to see an empty theater. Below, they state their case for why arts matter.

Now more than ever, make room in your life for the arts. At a time when it may be tempting to scrimp on outings or cut back on concerts, we need to remember art's enduring value.

The arts can comfort and nurture, inspire and instruct. They make us better and more caring -- and flat-out smarter, too. They help us learn more about our world. And as anyone who has ever taken a child to their first Broadway show can attest, they provide a fun and bonding way to pass that knowledge to our children.

The arts connect us with each other, and connect us with our souls.
-- Kathleen O'Brien

The visual arts provide decoration, shape the spaces in which we live, teach history to our children, and even enhance the value of local real estate.

But their unique value is their elevation of an individual viewpoint above all else.

In an era full of art manufactured by corporations or committees, the paintings, prints or sculptures produced by a single person remain the last refuge of completely personal expression.

The vast majority of work in museums and galleries was made by one artist working from his or her lone vantage point -- with only the vaguest hope of finding compensation for their effort.
-- Dan Bischoff

Monday, April 07, 2008

Olympic Artist Trading Cards

Olympic Artist Trading Cards
Right - Emily361
Left - Patrick185

At the beginning of this school year I saw a Call for Participation that invited teachers and students to take part in the Olympic ATC Exchange - an international exchange of artist trading cards created to celebrate the "Olympic spirit." Artist Trading Cards, also referred to as ATCs, are miniature works of art, usually done on card stock, that are traded between artists. They can be about anything and made with any media, materials, or techniques. They can be produced as one-of-a-kind originals, in limited editions, or in a series based on a particular theme or subject. It’s all up to the individual artist.

Since I had never participated in anything like this before we tried it with just one 5th grade, Ms. Linstra's Class. So, between December and January we work on our Olympic Inspired ATCs in Art Class. The theme of the exchange was “The Olympic Spirit,” which describes 5 traits — Friendship, Honor, Peace, Glory, and Fair Play. Each ATC made for the exchange expressed or represented one of these five traits. In addition, the five traits were matched up with one of the colors of the Olympic Rings.

All of the ATCs created for this trade are published on the Mount Prospect Artsonia Gallery. Each student selected 1 or 2 cards that they wanted to swap and they were sent to Professor Craig Roland at the University of Florida. He collected and redistributed the cards to the participating schools. Just last week I received a box of Olympic ATCs to be distributed to our student's in Ms. Linstra's class -- needless to say they were thrilled!

To commemorate the exchange and to showcase the variety of ideas and media that have been used for the project, 52 cards from schools participating in the Olympic ATC Exchange were chosen to form a "Gallery Deck." Congratulations to Emily361 & Patrick185 who both had a card selected for the Gallery Deck!

To read more about this project and see the "Gallery Deck - CLICK HERE! Olympic Artist Trading Card Press Release

Thank you and congratulations to all the students who participated in this exciting exchange! We will do this again!

Friday, February 29, 2008

District Youth Art Month Exhibit at the Bernards Township Library

Here is a LEAP DAY post, we can only have one every 4 years -- To Celebrate Youth Art Month, Mount Prospect School has artwork on exhibit at the Bernards Township Library along with other schools in the district. Our work is on display in the Children's Library on the lower floor of the library. There is some inside the library and more in the hallway. It is wonderful to see examples of artwork from across the district in this exhibit. I hope you get a chance to visit the library and enjoy this show, the work will be on display until April 4, 2008. All students with work at this exhibit have been notified. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

March is Youth Art Month!

Endorsed by the National Art Education Association, Youth Art Month (YAM) is a national annual observance - each March, to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. To recognize Youth Art Month, the Somerset Art Association (SAA) partners with the Art Educators of New Jersey to host a two-part exhibit of Somerset County student work on both floors of the Johnson Gallery.

The Somerset County Youth Art Month Exhibit is held at the
Somerset Art Associaton in Bedminister, NJ. Part I of this exhibit will run from March 9 - 18, 2008 and it highlights the talents of children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Part II, March 22 - April 6, 2008, highlights work created in 6th through 12th grade. Mount Prospect will have 20 pieces on display for this exhibit.

Above you see a photo the
beautiful full-color, glossy postcard from the Somerset Art Association. The artwork you see on the cover was created by four, 5th grade students at Mount Prospect School. These pieces beautifully illustrate this year's theme - Destination: ART! This postcard will be sent out to all the members of the Somerset Art Association in addition to all of the teachers & students with work in this exhibit. The original pieces will be on display at the Somerset Art Association as part of this exhibit!

The exhibit has been at SAA for the past 6 years and a BIG thank you goes out to Robyn Tromeur, Director of SAA and all the volunteers from SAA who helped hang this exhibit.

All the work can be viewed at our Artsonia On-line Gallery @

Friday, February 08, 2008

Artwork Featured in new Crayola Dream Makers Books

Over the past 2 years, a variety of children at Mount Prospect School & I have had the opportunity to work closely with Crayola. The children have tested lessons intended to be published in a series of books called Crayola Dream~Makers. What that means is that we have worked on projects before they were published, I was able to give Crayola feedback on how the lesson went with the students and the artwork that the children created was then used as samples in the books. The books have finally been published ~ I have a complete set in my classroom. If you are interested in seeing them please contact me and we can work out a time. The children can look at them during their art class.

For more informations on the Crayola Dream~Maker books please click the link above!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mount Prospect Students Exhibit work at NJPAC

This month 4 pieces of artwork will be on display in the lobby of the Victoria Theater at the
New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ. This is a juried exhibit sponsored by the Art Educators of New Jersey, 30 pieces will be exhibited in all. All the artwork is framed under glass and lit in true gallery style. The Artist's Reception will be Sunday, February 9, 2008 from 11:00 - 12:00 pm.
There will be lots of opportunities to take photos along with refreshments and certificates for all the young artists. If you are going to NJPAC, please make sure to stop by and enjoy the exhibit!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Photos from the Environmental Center Exhibit

Enjoy the photos of the artwork exhibited at the Somerset Environmental Center! There were so many students and families there today -- it was very exciting! This exhibit will be on display until February 10, 2008.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nature through a Child's Eyes - Somerset Environmental Center

Wire Sculpture Fish - Emily96

"Nature Through a Child's Eyes"

For the 12th year in a row the Somerset Environmental Center has sponsored this exhibit. All K- 6th grade schools, in Somerset County can participate. This is the 7th year Mount Prospect will have work on display!

Over 35 students from Mount Prospect have their work exhibited. All the work is inspired by nature. The children are asked to write, "What nature means to them..."
All of the answers are included in the exhibit program.

This Sunday - January 6, 2008 will be the Artist's Reception, from 3:00 - 4:00pm. It is always so exciting to see the students with their family and friends, they are all so proud! There are refreshments and a variety of art activities for the children to experience. All students who have artwork in this exhibit have been notified by mail.

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