By Terry Rogers
“WOW!,” the Mispillion Art League’s Annual Student Show ended on April 21 after showcasing the talents of students in grades 1-12 since April 11. Catherine Walls, curator of the show, said that although the art league holds a student show every spring, the event this year provided a unique collaboration between the art league and Milford High School.
“Karine Richards, a teacher at the high school, arranged for students in the Communication Technology major to design posters for the show this year,” Ms. Walls said. “There were many wonderful posters to consider and the selected design was created by Taylor Allender. Her puzzle piece design was a playful and eye-catching way to entice people to come inside and see the show.”
Students submitted artwork in a wide variety of mediums, including graphite, acrylic painting, crayon, pastels, pen and ink, markers, watercolor, paper sculpture and ceramics. The show was not a juried show as teachers selected what art would be exhibited.
“Mispillion Art League volunteers judged the event and awards were handed out in various categories,” Ms. Walls said. “Best in Show was awarded to Desieree Lewis and Neishaly Romero for their collaboration on their “Other Wordly” acrylic painting.”
Studies have shown that students who participate in the arts tend to do better in school, Ms. Walls said. Many things contribute to those studies, including the fact that the creative process improves connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
“Creating art projects, learning to dance, act, write or play an instrument teaches students that practice makes perfect,” Ms. Walls said. “The arts also prove that being different is a plus and there can be many ways to approach a problem. Because of this, the arts have a way of reaching not only traditional learners, but students who struggle with core subjects. Schools with strong arts programs have higher retention rates as students feel better about their education and stay engaged with school. In smaller, more remote areas, the arts expand and enrich students’ lives, bringing them sights, sounds and experiences from beyond their world.”
Milford High School offers career pathways, now called majors, and visual arts classes are part of the programming. The Communications Technology class includes visual arts as part of their curriculum. Ms. Walls said that although many of the students in the pathway do not plan to enter a career in arts, there are always a few that have artistic career in mind when they enter the major.
“Arts are an integral part of the student experience in Milford School District,” Dr. Jason Peel, Director of Secondary Education said. “Through the arts, students are able to express themselves in a productive manner and discover their own talents. The arts help students think critically and those who participate in the arts achieve more academic success. In addition, students who hope to pursue further education in the area of arts need to build a portfolio of work and experiences to help them prepare for the next level. The Mispillion Art League Show will not only showcase their work, but also give them the opportunity to receive real feedback from the public. We want to thank Milford Art League for supporting this year’s show and for providing our students the opportunity to share their talents with the community.”
Mispillion Art League has sponsored a student show for the past several years in March or April. The art league enjoys showcasing the talent of the students attending Milford School District as well as those who are homeschooled, in private school or attend school in other districts who take lessons at the art league. The art league offers classes for students and adults at their Riverwalk Center for the Arts. For more information visit them online at www.mispillionarts.org or call them at 302-430-7646.
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