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  • 17th Annual Art All-State Teams Local Students with Professional Artists

    (WORCESTER, MASS., May 13, 2004)-Area high school students are among 147 young artists throughout the state selected to participate in Worcester Art Museum's 17th Annual Art All-State, an intensive weekend institute to be held May 28 and 29.

    For a list of participating students from your coverage area, please contact Danielle Kane at 508.799.4406, x3073.

    Working with 16 professional artists in the Worcester Art Museum's studios, the students will collaborate on colossal art installations. The artists will lead students into the Museum's galleries and open a dialogue about the art that inspires them. In the studios, students' work will focus on contemporary art forms, the creative process, and teamwork. The public is invited to view the students' work at a reception on Saturday, May 29 at 3 p.m.

    The application process for Art All-State is rigorous. Massachusetts high schools may nominate up to two 11th-grade students in good academic standing who demonstrate a keen interest in visual art and are deserving of recognition and encouragement. The final selection of Art All-State participants is based upon nomination materials and personal interviews conducted by a panel of art educators. The participants in Art All-State 2004 were selected from a pool of 220 candidates.

    “Art All-State offers students a dynamic environment for exploring art beyond high school,” said Gillian Bonazoli, the program's coordinator. “When they arrive Friday morning, the students are all strangers, but once they begin work on their elaborate, three-dimensional installations, the exchange of ideas and camaraderie are instantaneous.”

    In 1988, when the economic climate forced many schools to cut their art curriculum budgets, the Worcester Art Museum aligned with art education advocacy groups to develop Massachusetts Art All-State. It was the first program of its kind in the nation and served as a model for the New Hampshire Allstate Art Festival, founded in 1999.

    Contact with alumni has shown the long-term impact and value of Art All-State. “Time and time again, when people ask me why or how I became involved in set design and art direction, I come back to a singular pivitol event-Art All-State,” stated Kirsty Thomley, a 1997 Art All-State participant now living and working as a production designer in Los Angeles.

    Such praise for Art All-State is far from unique. Alumni cite the experience of working with professional artists, discovering new art forms, and interacting with peers from all across the state as key to inspiring them to continue with a life full of creation and art.

    Several of the program's alumni return to assist with Art All-State as artists/mentors or volunteers. Tom Grady, an artist from Auburn, Mass. and an Art All-State alumnus, is acting as an artist/mentor for the 2004 program. Grady, who teaches youth art classes at Worcester Art Museum, earned a BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and has exhibited his work in galleries throughout New England.

    Andy Bell, another 1997 alumnus, will serve as a volunteer chaperone for this year's Art All-State. A Middlefield native, he earned a BFA degree in sculpture from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

    Children's book author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, a native of Worcester, returns as an artist/mentor. Krosoczka, who attended Worcester Art Museum classes as a youth, has published four picture books, and a fifth is due out this summer. His books have been recommended by Newsweek, The New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly and PBS. Last year, he was featured in Print magazine as one of the 20 most influential new visual artists under the age of 30.

    During Art All-State, world-renowned tape artist Michael Townsend will be in residence at the Worcester Art Museum. Townsend uses colored, low-adhesive, biodegradable artist's tape to “draw” on the exterior wall of the Museum, offering Art All-State participants the chance to view a public art installation in progress. This is the 10th year that Townsend will participate as an artist in residence with Art All-State.

    Art All-State is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Directors of Art Education, the Massachusetts Art Education Association, and the Worcester Art Museum. A generous gift from the David Freelander Memorial Education Fund helps sustain the program. Art All-State is also made possible with donations from many area businesses, and with the support of art educators from throughout the state.

    About the Worcester Art Museum
    The Worcester Art Museum, which opened to the public in 1898, is world-renowned for its 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings and new media. The works span 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from ancient Roman mosaics to Colonial silver, Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Dedicated to the promotion of art and art education, the Museum offers a year-round studio art and art appreciation program that enrolls over 6,000 adult and youth students each year. Public tours are offered Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., September through May. Audio tours are also available in English and Spanish.

    Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (evening hours sponsored by Commerce Bank), and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and full-time college students with current ID, and FREE for Members and all youth 17 and under. Admission is also FREE for everyone on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.-noon (sponsored by The TJX Companies, Inc. and Massachusetts Electric, a National Grid Company). The Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass., easily accessible from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), Route 290 and Route 9. Free parking is available near entrances on Salisbury, Lancaster and Tuckerman streets. For more information, call (508) 799-4406.