Art celebrated in all its forms at school district’s Art Fair

PINE PLAINS — Stissing Mountain High School invited students and their families to step into a world bursting with artistic creativity and explore the Pine Plains Central School District’s (PPCSD) Art Fair on Wednesday, May 18.

Originally scheduled for Monday, May 16, the Art Fair was postponed due to stormy weather. With multiple PPCSD staff and student volunteers running the show, the aim was to celebrate all forms of art offered to all grades, including visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts, technology and creative writing.

Designed to be 100% donation-based, all proceeds raised at the Art Fair went to benefit the local Willow Roots Food Pantry, which distributes from 7730 South Main St. (For more information, go to www.willowroots.org or call 518-751-0164.)

Running from 4 to 7 p.m., the Art Show had hands-on art activities and exhibits of artwork created by students. By one stairwell, a group of students gave a live jazz concert while residents donated money to benefit Willow Roots.

All throughout the lobby, student artwork was displayed on tables and walls, capturing a range of art mediums. Starting with the work closest to the main entrance, visitors admired salon walls created by high school students in partnership with The Wassaic Project and Rhode Island painter Kristin Lamb, as well as vivid Rorschach ink blots made from ink and watercolors.

A Butterfly Kingdom of creatures crafted from paper plates, toilet paper rolls and other materials was hung in the middle of the lobby alongside eye-catching paintings of endangered animals made by eighth-graders, grid portraits, meme prints, shadow cloches and other works.

On tables placed in the lobby sat Ag-Day letter sculptures inspired by the work of artist Casey Girard; sculptures of food; wood bas-reliefs; various ceramic works; and paper mache creations.

Many were especially fascinated by student James King’s performance piece, “Human (Homo-Sapien).” From behind a glass display case, King mimicked human behaviors with animal-like intensity as both a critique of human emotion and psyche.

Many were dazzled by the vivid array of artwork on display, from watercolor paintings and mythical wall mounts to notans and avant-garde landscapes.

Some engaged in art activities with art teachers, enjoying wheel throwing with Austin Kadle, laser engraving with James Benicasa and the Paint & Chill with Erin Essery.

With plank paper and plenty of muses to inspire them, students invited fair-goers to have their caricatures drawn.

At the chili and sundae bar, others satisfied their hunger with hot chili donated by Moose on the Loose. Some returned later that evening for homemade ice cream made by Jennifer Blackburn’s culinary class.

Preston Stoner tried a hand at wheel throwing in Austin Kadle’s classroom. Photo by Kaitlin Lyle

From left, twins Mason and Lance Miller at the Art Fair, in front of the mythical mounts on display in the hallways of Stissing Mountain High School. Photo by Kaitlin Lyle

Preston Stoner tried a hand at wheel throwing in Austin Kadle’s classroom. Photo by Kaitlin Lyle

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