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Summer Exhibit at Rutgers Art Library Proves That Self-Expression Can Be Meaningful, Relevant, and Moving Regardless of Age

June 1, 2016
"Rainbow Cupcake" by Katherine Mu

"Rainbow Cupcake" by Katherine Mu

This summer, Rutgers Art Library will host a free public exhibit of artwork by the sixth and seventh grade students at Hammarskjold Middle School in East Brunswick, NJ. Art teachers Anna Deacon, Antonia N. Germanos and Lisa Gombas hope the exhibit—on display from June 1 to August 31, 2016—will open students’ eyes to the world of artistic and educational possibilities outside their school classroom.

Antonia N. Germanos, sixth grade art teacher at Hammarskjold Middle School, describes the motivation behind the exhibit saying, “I hope that placing Hammarskjold Middle Schools students’ work on exhibit at the collegiate level will help our students realize their talent and creativity. I want them to understand that art is part of life and that it can, and should, be taken outside the classroom walls.”

For Megan Lotts, art librarian at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, working with community partners to bring local artists of all ages to her exhibit space serves multiple purposes. “For many of these students, this will be their first and perhaps only art exhibition, but by inviting students and parents to visit Rutgers Art Library, we are giving them insight into what life and research is like at a leading university,” explains Lotts.

“These very well could be future Rutgers students and many students this age have no idea that art libraries even exist. It can be empowering at a young age to see a space of this nature, as well as have your art work shown in a gallery space.”

A Mason Gross alumna, Germanos is no stranger to the artistic scene at Rutgers University. She credits strong bonds between the East Brunswick community and Rutgers University with the decision to bring the exhibit to Rutgers Art Library.

“As a neighboring community, East Brunswick embraces and supports Rutgers University activities and many of our graduates have attended the university,” says Germanos. “Displaying our students work at Rutgers Art Library will hopefully strengthen the bonds between primary, secondary, and collegiate education; honor our students’ hard work and dedication to the fine arts; and create opportunities for students to explore grander aspects of the fine arts.”

The Hammarskjold Middle School art exhibit will feature a variety of pieces in different mediums, including:

  • Hand cut collages inspired by the Japanese term notan, used to describe the concept of dark versus light. Students embrace contrast through the use of symmetry, asymmetry, color, and shape to create balance. Don’t miss “Winter Night” by Carson He (6th Grade Art Cycle, teacher Antonia Germanos) which draws on associations of winter and white alongside black and night to conjure the feeling of a cold evening.
  • Drawings of objects from life, divided into four sections that use different art materials to create layers of color and value. Don’t miss "Deconstructed Still Life" by Amanda Lee (7th Grade Art Elective, teacher Anna Deacon) featuring playroom and household objects in oil pastels, graphite pencil, colored pencil, and Sharpie pens.
  • A series of Pop Art-inspired oil pastel drawings in which students pay close attention to their chosen light source and the effects of highlights and shadows to pay homage to the confectionery creations of painter Wayne Thiebaud and the bright patterns and thick lines of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. Don’t miss "Rainbow Cupcake" by Katherine Mu (7th Grade Art Cycle, teacher Lisa Gombas) which depicts a realistic cupcake set off by a dramatic background and lighting.