by Dave Warner

Several Little Falls students from Benton Hall Academy, Little Falls Middle School and Little Falls High School will have artwork on display during the 11th Annual Herkimer County Youth Art Month Show.

The display will be in the Bassett Network Healthcare Lobby, 321 East Albany Street, Herkimer NY 13350. An opening reception featuring the student’s and their artwork will be held on Tuesday March 5th from 5:30 until 6:30 pm.

According to Little Falls High School Art Teacher Kara Milianta “The paintings and drawings that were entered into this show are from our drawing and painting students. All the lessons that I teach to these students are pretty much prepping them for either a college portfolio or for an Advanced Placement (AP) portfolio.”

“There’s about 24 pieces of artwork that go into that college portfolio. It’s a lot of work,” said Milianta.

Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. In celebration of Youth Art Month, Herkimer County Art Circles, a professional development group of art educators from area schools sponsors an exhibition of over 150 pieces of student artwork from kindergarten to grade 12 selected from county districts including Frankfort-Schuyler, Central Valley, Herkimer, Little Falls, Richfield Springs, Poland and Owen D. Young.

This unique exhibition will mark the 11th year of collaboration with Bassett Healthcare Network’s Herkimer facility providing community access to student artwork.

Milianta said “This is the 11th year that we have participated in Art Month and it really is a great celebration of our education and how important it is for our district to support the arts because what they learn in an art room are things that will make the kids career college ready.”

“The collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving…even if the child doesn’t continue on with art education in college, they still use these skills. These are life skills. It’s really important to have art education in our schools,” she said.

Students, families, educators, administrators and friends of the arts are welcome to the gala opening Tuesday, March 5th in the lobby of Bassett Network Healthcare Herkimer. They will be recognized for their achievements and presented with certificates.

The objectives of Youth Art Month are to direct attention to the value of art education, recognize art as a necessity for the full development of a better quality of life for all people, build support for art programs in the school curriculum, and recognize art education as a viable component for the development of our future citizens in a global society.

Using the national theme “Your Art, Your Story” the students demonstrate the power of the visual arts to connect across the Common Core curriculum uniting ELA, Math, Social Studies and Science in their work.

Youth Art Month is in its 60th year of celebration across the nation and is sponsored by the Council for Art Education, NASCO and AMACO, the National Art Education Association and the New York State Art Teachers Association. Heather McCutcheon serves as the Co – Chairperson for New York State and Chairperson for this exhibition.

The following students from Little Falls are participating in the show:

Benton Hall Academy
Art Teacher: Wendy Rockwell
Annabella Jodway, Kindergarten
Brooke Greiner, 1st Grade
Autumn Brandt, 2nd Grade
Lilliana Scaparo, 3rd Grade
Isabella Summerfield, 4th Grade
Aryck Skibinski, 5th Grade

Little Falls Middle School
Art Teacher: Kelly Wander
Destiny Rushing. 6th Grade
Michael George, 6th Grade
Marissa Otero, 6th Grade
Julius Schaffner, 7th Grade
Gia Reyes, 7th Grade
Paige Grant, 8th Grade
Madison Schaffner, 8th Grade
Janelle Slater, 8th Grade

Little Falls High School
Art Teacher: Kara Milianta
Rebecca Hyney, 10th Grade
Emma Dooley, 9th Grade
Hannah Young, 11th Grade
Tony Laporta, 11th Grade
Richie Baylor, 11th Grade
Olivia Langdon, 12th Grade
Hannah Williams, 12th Grade
Eddie Rogers, 12th Grade