Tonawanda News

Features

March 16, 2013

North Tonawanda elementary students on display at UB Center for the Arts show

Tonawanda News — All year long Mary Ellen Holler’s 2nd- through 6th-graders have been studying artworks by the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Keith Haring. 

Every few weeks, the art teacher, who’s spent more than three decades teaching North Tonawanda students of all ages, exposes her students to a new period or style of art. She shows them how to dash-dash-dash little marks onto construction paper using oil pastels to mimic Monet’s style. They learn perspective using their math skills. They even learn to draw their own faces, using mirrors as the old masters once did.

And like these old masters, 10 of Holler’s students — and dozens of others throughout the region — will see their artworks hung on the walls of a hallowed institution as part of the Student Celebration of the Visual Arts.

Drawings, photographs and other works of art by approximately 370 students between kindergarten and 12th grade are only display from noon to 4 p.m. today at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts Fine Arts Atrium at the North Campus. 

“It gets bigger every year,” said organizer and Williamsville North art and photography teacher Brad Curcio.

Holler said she submitted 10 artworks by students among her 2nd- through 6th-grade classes at Ohio and Meadow elementary schools. Spruce, Drake and Meadow elementary art teacher Melinda Wright also submitted 10 student artworks. 

The works are judged and given awards based on a variety of categories divided up by age ranges.

Holler said her classes have participated in in the SCVA for the past three years in part because in her mind, she feels they’re already all winners.

“To me they’ve all won because they’ve just tried so hard. Possibly the judges may not understand the technique I’m trying to teach them and that’s OK,” Holler said. 

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