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  • 15th Annual Art All-State Teams Local Students with Professional Artists

    WORCESTER, MASS., MAY 5, 2002-Area high school students are among 140 young artists throughout the state selected to participate in Worcester Art Museum's 15th Annual Art All-State, an intensive weekend institute to be held May 24 and 25.

    Working with 16 professional artists in Worcester Art Museum's studios, the students will collaborate on colossal art installations. Taking advantage of their surroundings, artists will begin a dialogue with students about the art that inspires them in the Museum's galleries. In the studios, students' work will focus on contemporary art forms, the creative process and teamwork. The public may view the students' work at a reception on Saturday, May 25 from 2:30-3:30 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 with each of the students. The final 140 participants in Art All-State 2002 were selected from a pool of 210 candidates.

    “Art All-State provides students with a unique opportunity to interact and collaborate with their peers from across the Commonwealth," said Marcia Lagerwey, manager of Art All-State at Worcester Art Museum. "It also opens the doors for these students to explore art beyond high school.”

    Among Art All-State's 1,900 alumni are professionals working in every aspect of art and design, including full-time artists, art educators, and industrial designers. This year, two Art All-State alumni will return to work with students.

    Tom Grady, an artist from Auburn, Mass. and an Art All-State alumnus, serves as an artist/mentor for the 2002 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, of Middlefield, Mass., attended Art All-State in 1997 as a junior at Gateway Regional High School in Huntington, Mass. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth this spring, the sculpture major will serve as a volunteer chaperone for this year's Art All-State students.

    “Brainstorming, problem solving, and working together, I got an early idea about what art school would be like... I learned in those two days just how important process was, and in short gained a lot of insight at a crucial time,” said Bell. “Knowing how incredibly influential this program was for me, I just want to see it passed on to others and be a part of the wonderful, creative atmosphere.”

    World-renowned tape artist Michael Townsend also returns as a visiting artist to create a monumental tape work and to talk with the students. Townsend uses a blue, 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.

    Art All-State 2002 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.

    Museum Background

    A cultural jewel of New England, the Worcester Art Museum first opened to the public in 1898. Its exceptional 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints and drawings is displayed in 36 galleries and spans 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from Egyptian antiquities and Roman mosaics to Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Its extensive four-season studio arts program enrolls 6,000 adult and youth students each year. Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (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 and Massachusetts Electric Company). The Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass., easily accessible from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), Route 290 and Route 9. Expanded parking is available near entrances on Salisbury, Lancaster and Tuckerman streets. For more information, call (508) 799-4406.