Students Give Voice in Selecting Art to Beautify School

BOSTON/ROXBURY – Imagine walking through visually barren hallways seeing little more than a few bulletins posted on pale colored walls. Then envision that same space energized with vibrant and thought-provoking works of art. Students from City on a Hill Charter School in Roxbury had the opportunity to transform their space by participating in a lively and engaging art selection process as they worked together to make choices to beautify their school with original art.

 

The mission of City on a Hill Charter School is to graduate responsible, resourceful, and respectful democratic citizens, prepared to advance community, culture, and commerce, and to compete in the 21st century. The democratic process was alive as students participated in an art dialogue involving artworks viewed from a diverse catalog of 300 donated works of art. The group, consisting of five students representing the student body along with three faculty members, joined The Art Connection staff at their school to participate in the art selection process, which ultimately resulted in 11 works of art being selected to beautify the school’s hallways, student spaces, meeting rooms, tutorial areas, and stairwells.

 

Freshman student Toyin Egharevba commented, “I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to advocate for other students about the artwork that should be in the building.”

 

Torraine Humes, a senior, shared his thoughts saying, “It’s very exciting that the students are involved in the process of selecting art to beautify the school, because we have to see these pieces everyday so opinions should be considered.”

 

Artworks are generously donated by artists through The Art Connection, a nonprofit organization that expands public access to visual art by placing the work of donor artists and collectors on the walls of community service organizations . Through this unique art-gifting program, City on a Hill is able to create a warmer and more stimulating environment for students and faculty.

 

During the art selection process, The Art Connection facilitates a “curatorial meeting”, guiding the participants through a slide show of 300 donated works of art. As each artwork appears on screen, participants are encouraged to express which works resonate with them and share their responses with the group. If there is general consensus, the artwork is put aside for the next round in the selection process. After the catalog has been viewed, and the favored pieces selected, the process continues with greater discussion as the art selections are narrowed further. During the selection a variety of things must be considered, ranging from the size of the available wall space to which pieces are most appropriate for the audience viewing the art daily. On average, 15 works of art will be selected by each organization. As the final choices are decided, the group engages in stimulating and spirited discussion and leaves the meeting with a bit more knowledge and appreciation for varying artworks and the opinions of their peers.

 

City on a Hill anticipates installing the 11 artworks in Spring of 2009, ensuring the seniors who participated in the art selection process have the opportunity to enjoy the art before graduating.

 

Artists or collectors interested in donating art and nonprofit organizations interested in receiving art should contact The Art Connection for more information. All financial gifts by new donors will be doubled as part of the Harvest & Seed Fund Matching Gift program. The Art Connection can be reached at 617-338-7668 or online at www.theartconnection.org .

 

About The Art Connection: The Art Connection connects artists and donors to community service organizations through the placement of original artwork in the Greater Boston area. Over the past 14 years, The Art Connection has facilitated the donation of more than 4000 works of art into 270 nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at www.theartconnection.org.