School’s Out for Summer, but Art’s In
By Mark DiStefano, Post reporter
Rochester, N.Y. — One small group of Greece Central School District students will be celebrating the end of the school year in a unique way. Some students from Buckman Heights Elementary will be a part of “School’s Out for Summer 2,” a gallery put on by Studio 215 in downtown Rochester on June 1st.
Heather Erwin, a local artist and Rochester native, teaches art at Buckman Heights. She said that over 20 students are involved and that they painted their own work with minimal intervention.
“They drew it, I reinforced lines,” Erwin said.
Erwin is the curator at Studio 215 and asked select students to be a part of her show for this year’s “School’s Out” gallery. The venue is the first in the “First Friday” event, a citywide gallery night put on monthly by the Rochester Contemporary Art Center.
For the creative process, students were divided into groups. Each group collectively came up with an idea. The ideas range from “shopping” to “outer-space boxing.” The paintings were created on 4×9 foot pieces of drywall cut into thirds.
The pieces for the venue were inspired by the works of illustrator Jose Cruz of Dallas, Texas, who focuses primarily on geometric shapes.
Francesca Martinez, a 10-year-old fourth-grader at Buckman, said that the artwork throughout all the pieces will incorporate geometric shapes.
“It was easier, simple shapes,” she said.
Kidane VidaMalik, a 10-year-old fifth-grader, said that there are many things that can be done with the simplicity of using shapes as inspiration.
“The type of art we’re doing, it’s an interesting kind,” he said. “You can see a lot of detail.”
Studio 215 is in the Hungerford Building, located in Rochester’s public market district. Erwin said that this art show isn’t affiliated with the school district and that this was done on her own time.
When the students were asked if they were excited for the art show, they said they could not wait.
“I think it’s going to be awesome,” said Regan Walton, an 11-year-old fifth-grader at Buckman.
“This is why I like my job,” Erwin said, “because they make me laugh.”