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Student work takes spotlight at Remington Art Museum

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OGDENSBURG — A variety of paintings, sculptures, drawings and other student artwork is on display at the Frederic Remington Art Museum, 303 Washington St.

Students representing about 10 schools across St. Lawrence County, as well as home-schoolers, submitted work to their art teachers, who entered it in the museum’s 17th annual Middle and High School Art Exhibit.The display opened Saturday with the students, families and some teachers in attendance.

“It’s a wonderful way to encourage young artists, to celebrate what the now greatly diminished art programs in the schools are still accomplishing, and it gives kids and families a museum experience that they might not have come upon in their own devices,” said Laura A. Foster, director and curator of the museum.

Ms. Foster said teachers were allowed to enter up to four students per school.

“This exhibit is a great way for the museum to interface with the art educators in the county,” she said.

The student work took up one room on the second floor, but the museum held an open house so the students and families also could check out the rest of the museum for free.

“This is the ultimate experience for them,” said Dianne K. Drayse-Alonso, an art teacher at Ogdensburg Free Academy. “The culminating experience for our kids is always to have their work on display here at the museum, in our gallery at school and at home too. We’re always encouraging them that it’s just as important to get their work up on their walls at home because it’s for viewing and enjoying.”

Ms. Drayse-Alonso said three of her students have work displayed.

“We just love that the Remington continues this tradition because our kids look forward to it, we look forward to it and it’s a wonderful way for our kids’ work to be showcased.”

Katie S. Benzel, a seventh-grader from Wanakena, got inspiration for her mosaic from the sports team name of her school district, Clifton-Fine Central, Star Lake.

“I was looking through books to see what I wanted to do and I found an eagle and just really liked it,” she said. “Since we’re the Clifton-Fine Eagles, I decided to do that.”

Miss Benzel said it was the first mosaic piece she’d ever done. She said she used a glass cutter to cut up different colored pieces which she glued together, creating the image of an eagle. “When my teacher told me she wanted me to be in the art show, I was really excited,” she said. “I had already started working on it, but then she wanted me to put it in the art show and I hadn’t finished it. So it was a struggle to get it done and I had to work really fast.”

Brandi L. Boyce, an eighth-grader from South Colton, said her art class at Colton-Pierrepont Central looked to classic heroes for inspiration.

Her painting, titled “Robin,” is four different-colored images of Batman’s sidekick. “One of my friends was doing Batman, so I was inspired to do the Robin for her Batman,” she said.

Miss Boyce said she carved Robin’s face out of clay, put paint on it, then lined it up and placed the clay face-down on regular construction paper. She said the painting hanging in the museum was the third of 10 prints she did to get the painting exactly how she wanted it.

“It’s marvelous,” said Sister Jeanne D’Aca, an art teacher at Holy Name of Jesus Academy, Massena. “Every time I see these children’s work I’m amazed at what they can do.”

Sister Jeanne had several students participating in the exhibit with paintings and watercolor pencil drawings.

“I stand behind them and watch them do this and it’s just marvelous,” she said. “I really hope a lot of children get this opportunity to express themselves and show their ability.”

The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday until Feb. 23.

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