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Student art builds bridges between school and community

two women and a man standing near a row of paintings and drawings hanging on a wall

The student art display at Ilion True Value.

Visitors to three local businesses will find something unexpected—artwork by Central Valley students.

Moose River Coffee, Ilion True Value Hardware, and the Mohawk Village Market now proudly display drawings and paintings by Central Valley school students.

Central Valley art teachers Nancie Cooney, Joanna Jenkins, and John Daley installed the displays late in June.

The initiative is the shared vision of Superintendent Jeremy Rich and the art teachers. It began when former CVA art teacher Christina Korba partnered with Moose River for an initial exhibit. That success prompted Mr. Rich to encourage more displays.

“I am firmly committed to the belief that our Central Valley community should be proud of our students,” he said.

“In the same way, I want our students to be proud of their community and to appreciate all it offers. I saw Ms. Korba’s exhibit as a great way for us to shine a light on our students and the community. I am thrilled the art teachers share that belief and were willing to invest their time to make this a reality.”

Ms. Cooney has long supported displaying student art throughout the community. Speaking on behalf of her fellow art teachers, she said, “Students who have their art work displayed, outside of the school setting, gain a sense of confidence and or realization that they are exemplar in the field of art, and they represent their school/district.

three women standing near a row of paintings and drawings hanging on a wall

The new display at the Mohawk Village Market

“This recognition is equal to all other educational disciplines where students gain special recognition. All individuals are innately gifted in a particular skill or area of study. If given the opportunity, for that to be nurtured, one can aspire to their potential and succeed.”

She is convinced it is equally important for the community.

“This particular ‘project’ is aimed at community awareness,” she said.

She hopes community members will gain an understanding of the district’s art education curriculum. Beginning in elementary school and continuing in middle school, students are exposed two-dimensional art(drawing painting, etc.), three-dimensional art (sculpting, modeling, etc.), and basic art history. Students who show a greater interest can pursue advanced high school courses, including college-level Advanced Placement classes. A fundamental goal is for all students, regardless of their interest or ability to gain an understanding/appreciation of the historical/cultural influences, the correlation of art an other academic subject areas (ie. science, math, and history),  and to engage in using various materials to create and make art.

The role of art education in schools is now highlighted through New York state’s action that authorized districts to create a sequential art curriculum as an alternative pathway to graduation. Instead of requiring all students to follow the same ELA/math/science/social studies requirements to graduate, schools can offer students the opportunity to choose a series of art courses to earn a high school diploma. This better prepares students who are planning to pursue a college education and a career in the field of art.

See art in the community

“We encourage families and friends to check out the art this summer and to thank those establishments who have partnered with us,” said Mr. Rich.

Artists currently on display are (note: each piece will rotate between the businesses throughout the summer):

Mohawk Village Market

  • Rhiannon Corsette
  • Tracy Palmieri
  • Gabby Chandler
  • Jared Thomes
  • Brynna Scalise
  • Katlyn Bush
  • Autumn Congdon
  • Logan Giordano

Ilion True Value

  • Jacob Hitchcock
  • Jakory Camp
  • Dakota Basloe
  • Rachel Cusworth
  • Hannah Adorino
  • Sylvia Taft
  • Hailey Allen
  • Maya Holovitz

Moose River Cafe, Ilion

  • Jared Thomes
  • Charisma Lape
  • Hailey Allen
  • Carissa Roux
  • Elizabeth Fresco
  • Kiera Williams
  • Andrea Day
  • Erika Hunt
  • Kaydence Zimmerman
  • Elysia Medina
  • Madeyla Rodgers
  • Tracy Palmiera