Art All-State Program Attracts Budding Artists To Worcester Art Museum

WORCESTER, MASS., MAY 12, 1999 -- Linked by their common love of art, 140 high school juniors from across the Commonwealth will gather to cultivate their artistic skills at the Worcester Art Museum's 12th annual Art All-State program from May 28-29, 1999.

This award-winning program, the first of its kind when developed in 1987, was designed by prominent art educators and artists to bring students and professional artists together in a studio setting. Nationally recognized, the program gives students a direct knowledge of contemporary art forms and a better understanding of art-related careers. The Art All-State program has been so successful that the state of New Hampshire is starting its own program this year.

According to Gillian Bonazoli, Art All-State coordinator at the Museum, "The Museum has run Art All-State for 12 years now. Our long term evaluation, gleaned from the over 1500 alumni that we keep in touch with, shows that past Art All-State students are employed in almost every aspect of art and design, from making art and teaching art, to designing furniture and working with MTV. Both these alumni and others attest to a lifelong value and appreciation of the arts, enhanced by early and intense exposure such as their experience at Art All-State."

Being accepted into Art All-State is no easy feat, and 238 students applied to this year's program. Teachers from public and private Massachusetts high schools may nominate up to two students who show exceptional artistic potential and commitment to their art, and who are in good academic standing. The next step in this rigorous selection process requires students to submit a personal statement and a teacher's recommendation and analysis of the student's artistic ability.

The students must also present two slides of their work and participate in personal interviews. After the students' application packets are complete a panel of judges narrows the applicant pool down to the 140 students who will attend the two-day program. The public is invited to attend a reception on Saturday, May 29, at 3 p.m to view the art this year's participants have created.

Art All-State 1999 is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Directors of Art Education, the Massachusetts Art Education Association and the Worcester Art Museum. Gifts from The David Freelander Memorial Education Fund and The Sudbury Foundation, and many in-kind donations from local and area businesses subsidize Art All-State.

Museum Background

Opened to the public in 1898, the Worcester Art Museum is the second largest art museum in New England. 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. Throughout its first century, the Worcester Art Museum proved itself a pioneer: the first American museum to purchase work by Claude Monet (1910) and Paul Gauguin (1921); the first museum to bring a medieval building to America (1927); a sponsor of the first major excavation at Antioch, one of the four great cities of ancient Rome (1932); the first museum to create an Art All-State program for high school artists (1987); the originator of the first exhibition of Dutch master Judith Leyster (1993); and the first museum to focus its contemporary art programs on art of the last 10 years (1998). The Museum's hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-5pm, and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission: FREE for members; Non-members: $8 Adults; $6 Seniors and full-time college students with current ID; FREE for youth 17 and under; FREE for everyone Saturday mornings 10am-noon sponsored by The TJX Companies and Massachusetts Electric Company. For more information, call (508) 799-4406 or visit the Museum at 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester.