Bucks County Herald

“Touch the Future” art show introduces sculpture award


Council Rock High School North student Jianni Gonzalez received “Touch the Future” Juried Art Show’s first Dr. Selma Burke Sculpture Award for her piece, “Black Power.”

The ever popular “Touch the Future” Juried Art show, featuring work from 26 public high schools in Bucks and Montgomery counties, kicked off a three-week run on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Arcadia University.

This year, it featured the Dr. Selma Burke Sculpture Award, an honor given to the top sculpture student that also pays tribute to the artist who created the 1944 bas relief titled “Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” which later inspired the Roosevelt dime. The award was presented to Jianni Gonzalez (teacher, Jim Biglan) of Council Rock High School North for her piece, “Black Power” (3D Functional Category).

The exhibition welcomes the public at Arcadia University, University Commons Art Gallery Area and Great Room Lobby, 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside. The 31st annual art show is free and open to the public through March 15 during gallery hours Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4pm. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, Mideastern Region (PSEA/MER) and the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools (CAPS) are sponsors.

Dr. Selma Burke was a member of the Harlem Renaissance movement and lived and worked in New Hope for 46 years – far from her humble roots, attending a one-room segregated schoolhouse playing with riverbed clay found near her home. In 1935, Burke worked as a private nurse in New York City and lived in an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. She has created many pieces of public art, often portraits of prominent African-American figures such as Duke Ellington, Mary McLeod Bethune and Booker T. Washington.

The annual juried art show pays tribute to Christa McAuliffe. She was the first teacher in space who perished aboard the space shuttle Challenger and was known for the expression, “I touch the future. I teach.”

The winners of the juried show were selected by Tamryn McDermott, director of admissions at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Volunteer co-chairs were Lynne Pribis, Upper Dublin High School; Michael Werner, North Penn High School; and Connie Berger, recent Cheltenham High School retiree. The show was juried by Grace Ahn Klensin, assistant director, Temple University Tyler School of Art.

“It is a privilege to chair this show once again,” said Pribis, an art teacher who has willingly volunteered her time over the past 17 years to organize this massive effort. “Bringing together the phenomenal art created by public high school students in our region and getting to know and share it with so many other art teachers and the community is a very gratifying experience.”

“Lynne is one amazing example of the thousands of teachers in our region who give tirelessly to ensure that exceptional opportunities are made available to our students,” said Alan M. Malachowski, Mideastern Region president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, and an elementary music teacher in the North Penn School District. “We invite the public to view this show and see why the arts are vital to the well-rounded education that our public schools provide.”

In addition to Gonzalez, local award winners included:

3D Functional Category: Gianna Bates, William Tennent High School (teacher, Rina Friedant), for “Lost at Sea”; Printmaking: Gavyn Kowalski, William Tennent (teacher, Wendy Collins) for “House”; Painting (Acrylic/Oil/Watercolor): Ava Kershbaumer, Council Rock High School North (teacher, Lynne Hayden) for “Nara.”

“This art show is always amazing and is an important example of the wide range of opportunities offered to students throughout public schools in our region,” noted Alan M. Malachowski, PSEA/MER president. “The number of choices that students have to explore their interests is remarkable and one more important reason for funding public schools appropriately.”



Copyright ©2018 Bucks County Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.