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May 08, 2017

Holmdel High School Senior Artists’ Work Honored During Youth Art Month

The arts are certainly alive and well at Holmdel High School, as five seniors have been invited to display their designs at the Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) annual exhibit celebrating Youth Art Month. Every March, students from around the country engage in activities related to Youth Art Month, which encourages support for quality school art programs and promotes art material safety. According to the National Arts Education Association, The Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers the program at the national level. The program provides a medium for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences unlike any other curriculum subjects, including problem solving, creativity, observation, and communication. Basically, the associations, along with art educators in the classrooms and studios, promote the recognition of art education as a necessity for the development of critical thinking and creativity for all their students.

Alana Lazar, a Holmdel art teacher for over 20 years and a member of AENJ, was thrilled to give her students an opportunity to show off their masterful work this year. Every March, AENJ asks for member teachers to submit six pieces of artwork to be judged by a panel of art educators from the association’s ranks. Ms. Lazar invited students from her Honors Advanced Drawing and Advanced Placement (AP) Studio classes to submit their best pieces and, from there, six of the best projects produced by seniors were selected. On March 25, Brookdale Community College displayed the artwork as part of a gallery at the Performing Arts Center during a day of modern dance events.

The senior artists include Kayla Clark, Patricia Luk, Paige McMorrow, Jolie Shave, and Nicole LaGrua, all of whom had their work on display at Brookdale. Nicole was additionally honored to have her work selected along with five other pieces from the Brookdale event to go on to the New Jersey art exhibition at the Trenton State House from March 25 to 31. The students are truly a fine example of the remarkable talent the Holmdel Art Department has to offer, and all the participants will be continuing to hone their craft upon graduation, attending such highly selective institutions as Rhode Island School of Design, Sheridan in Ontario for animation, and Syracuse University for architecture.

Holmdel has a proud tradition of promoting student achievement in all disciplines and all academic areas, as well as athletics and the arts. Where the latter is concerned, Ms. Lazar feels, “We are very fortunate to have the Honors Classes – Sculpture, Advanced Drawing, and AP Studio. This is where the art students begin to establish their identity as an artist. They are allowed the freedom to develop their own style and personality in their own work. At this level, the techniques are refined and higher level skills are incorporated into every class. It is not just about creating a class project, but more about creating the artistic process.” This philosophy can be seen firsthand at the entrance to the high school auditorium, where each year during Youth Art Month, student work is on display for all to see, from ceramics to drawing to conceptual art. It definitely brightens up the hallway in the waning days of winter, and the colorful pageantry of the display brings a bit of spring to the eyes of students and staff alike.