Hammarskjold students display artwork at Rutgers

NEW BRUNSWICK — This summer, Rutgers Art Library will host a free public exhibit of artwork by sixth- and seventh-grade students of Hammarskjold Middle School in East Brunswick.

The art will be exhibited through Aug. 31 and feature a variety of pieces in different mediums, including:

  • Hand-cut collages inspired by notan, a Japanese term used to describe the concept of dark versus light. Students embrace contrast through the use of symmetry, asymmetry, color and shape to create balance. “Winter Night,” by sixth grader Carson He of Antonia Germanos’ class, draws on associations of winter and white alongside black and night to conjure the feeling of a cold evening.
  • Drawings of objects from life, divided into four sections that use different art materials to create layers of color and value. “Deconstructed Still Life” by seventh grader Amanda Lee of Anna Deacon’s class features playroom and household objects in oil pastels, graphite pencil, colored pencil and Sharpie pens.
  • A series of Pop Art-inspired oil pastel drawings in which students pay close attention to their chosen light source and the effects of highlights and shadows to pay homage to the confectionery creations of painter Wayne Thiebaud and the bright patterns and thick lines of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. “Rainbow Cupcake” by seventh grader Katherine Mu of Lisa Gombas’ class depicts a realistic cupcake set off by a dramatic background and lighting.

“I hope that placing Hammarskjold Middle School’s students’ work on exhibit at the collegiate level will help our students realize their talent and creativity. I want them to understand that art is part of life and that it can, and should, be taken outside the classroom walls,” Germanos said in a statement prepared by the Rutgers Universities Libraries.

For Megan Lotts, art librarian at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, working with community partners to bring local artists of all ages to her exhibit space serves multiple purposes.

“For many of these students, this will be their first and perhaps only art exhibition, but by inviting students and parents to visit Rutgers Art Library, we are giving them insight into what life and research is like at a leading university,” she said. “These very well could be future Rutgers students, and many students this age have no idea that art libraries even exist. It can be empowering at a young age to see a space of this nature, as well as have your artwork shown in a gallery space.”

A Mason Gross alumna, Germanos is no stranger to the artistic scene at Rutgers University. She credits strong bonds between the East Brunswick community and Rutgers University with the decision to bring the exhibit to Rutgers Art Library, according to the statement.

“As a neighboring community, East Brunswick embraces and supports Rutgers University activities, and many of our graduates have attended the university,” Germanos said. “Displaying our students’ work at Rutgers Art Library will hopefully strengthen the bonds between primary, secondary and collegiate education; honor our students’ hard work and dedication to the fine arts; and create opportunities for students to explore grander aspects of the fine arts.”

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