Art and music education in Wilton was on display Friday evening at Wilton Library at the opening reception of the Wilton School District’s Fine and Performing Arts Exhibition. The event included the 15th International Student Art Exchange, featuring music and art that joined Wilton with Romania, Spain and Uganda.
Hundreds of children and adults filled the library and those who stepped into the Brubeck Room were treated to musical performances by approximately 150 students performing in choir, band and orchestra. Each of the district’s public schools was represented.
“We’re presenting all facets of the program,” said Nick Loafman, one of the district’s fine and performing arts instructional leaders. “We’re showing a selection of what we offer.” The district’s three other fine and performing arts instructional leaders are Michael Gordon, Susan LaBarbera and Sue Brandt.
The rest of the library — from the gallery to the reference and reading rooms and even the study rooms — was given over to visual arts, with art on the walls but also demonstrations of traditional painting, digital art, and pottery.
Eighth graders Jordyn Vyee and Rya Shah were working cooperatively on a painting they said represented the Middlebrook community. The painting featured four children — a girl in a wheelchair, a girl in a headscarf, a blond boy and a boy of color — gazing into a pool of water.
“They are looking into a reflection of what our community is,” Jordyn told The Bulletin.
Lukas Koutsoukos, an eighth grader, also took a school theme for his painting. “I’m painting a ship going to a place called Hope because I feel like it captures Middlebrook’s beliefs of hope and believing in what you can do.”
Several high school students were working in digital art with a Wacom tablet, which one student described as “a big mouse pad.” The tablet enables a user to draw with a stylus.
Ninth grader Daniella Coltman said “painting on a computer presents endless possibilities. … It’s really efficient.” Daniella also paints with watercolors and gouache and uses color pencils as well, but she hopes to get into digital art professionally, so she is fond of her tablet.
Two friends — Elizabeth Yoon and Zareen Reza — both 12th graders, were each painting a portrait of their friend Jasmine Whitaker. Elizabeth was using a brush and black ink, Zareen a Wacom tablet.
“I love working with ink,” Elizabeth said as she dipped her brush into an ink stone she got in South Korea. “It’s so fluid.”
Zareen said she liked the versatility of digital art with “a lot of [virtual] brushes to choose from.” The computer allows her to edit proportions and work on specific parts of a painting independently in different layers. She also works traditionally with pencils and markers.
Pottery
Working in one of the study rooms was Chris Lancaster, a 12th grader who said he was “trying my very best to make some sort of vase” as he shaped wet high-fire stoneware clay on a wheel.
“I always kind of liked pottery,” he said, explaining this is his second year studying it in high school. A veteran of classes at Silvermine Arts Center, he said he finds pottery “therapeutic.”
“The hardest part is centering the clay. After that it’s just fun,” he said.
Ceramics teacher Michelle Currier said students in class work with high-fire stoneware, decorative porcelain and stoneware.
Exhibition
Visitors to Wilton Library may enjoy the exhibition through April 24. The works on display include drawings, watercolors, digital work, colored pencil works, sculpture and other three-dimensional pieces, and colorful masks. The Bulletin is the media sponsor.