Students and museum add new twist to school art festival

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This month, the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton will feature a new adaptation of its traditional school art festival—“East End Stories: Students Explore Our Artistic Heritage”—combining works of art from the museum’s permanent collection with approximately 300 student projects inspired by images and lesson plans available on the Parrish’s recently launched East End Stories website (http://artists.parrishart.org).

Cara Conklin Wingfield, deputy director of education at the Parrish, noted in a statement: “In our effort to re-imagine the school art festival, we hoped to fully engage teachers and students with the museum’s permanent collection, which is now available online, along with a variety of lesson plans. We were so pleased that teachers embraced this new idea for the show. Their enthusiasm and the children’s creative approach are evident in the works that have come together in the exhibition, and we’re tremendously proud to share this cheerful new show with the community.”

A festive opening celebration for museum members, students, teachers and the general public is scheduled on Saturday, December 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. and includes musical performances by local youth musicians, The Cherry Blossoms and Friends, featuring Takano Nakamura Calise, as well as art workshops, transformational face painting by Agostino Arts, and refreshments. Admission is free to the public.

More than 35 paintings and prints from the Parrish’s permanent collection, including works by William Merritt Chase, Samuel Colman, Robert Dash, Linda Hackett, Laurie Lambrecht, Thomas Moran, Fairfield Porter, Herbert Randall, Mike Solomon and others, will be on view in the museum’s front gallery, leading to an exuberant display of student artwork created in response to these and other images.

The inventive and varied school projects featured in the exhibition were inspired by the East End’s remarkable artistic legacy, extending from the 19th century to the present. This story, detailing the art and artists of the East End, was brought to life through the Parrish’s innovative East End Stories website in the summer.

The culmination of a three-year initiative, East End Stories—http://artists.parrishart.org—was created with the assistance of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museums for America initiative. The programs enable users to discover the profound contribution artists of the East End have made to the history of American art, experience the area’s unique geography and its appeal to artists, and explore the connections among the more than 650 artists who have visited, lived and worked in this region since the early 19th century.

“East End Stories: Students Explore Our Artistic Heritage” is open to the public now through January 4. During this exhibition, the museum’s galleries will be open daily and admission is pay as you wish. For additional information, visit parrishart.org or call 631-283-2118.

The East End website is accessible through the homepage on the Parrish’s website or by visiting http://artists.parrishart.org.

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