Gourgaud Gallery exhibits Cranbury School artists

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The Gourgaud Gallery in Cranbury is displaying some special artwork created by Cranbury School student artists for the month of March.

The exhibit, which is located inside Cranbury’s Township Hall on 23 N Main St., will have artwork available for viewing until March 29.

Visitors can view the art during  the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on March 17 from 1-3 p.m. The show incorporates the work of all the grades in the school from kindergarten through eighth grade.

“This year there are a little more than 70 pieces being displayed,” said Stacey Crannage, art teacher at the Cranbury School.

Crannage has been at the school for five years and has spearheaded this art exhibit from the beginning.

“I choose a few art pieces from each grade level,” she said. “I look at who I have chosen in the past, that way everyone can get a turn to have artwork displayed. There are students at times who have struggled in the past and have really blossomed through the years. We like to showcase those students as well. I do try my best to have every year be different students.”

This is the fourth year of the exhibit. The show is an extension of National Youth Art Month.

According to the Council for Art Education (CFAE), Youth Art Month encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety. Art shows, special exhibits, fundraisers, and school and community activities take place annually during the month of March.

“We did not do this last year. We just showcased eighth grade work. There was a traveling exhibit that came to the gallery and it was about people’s heritage. We had the eighth graders do self portraits that reflected that,” Crannage said. “This year we are back to National Youth Art Month and every grade is represented this year.”

The idea for artwork to be displayed in the gallery began as a conversation between Crannage and school Principal Susan Genco.

“We were having a conversation about how we wanted to display more art work. I was like how great would it be to have a show that was a little bit smaller, that was not a part of the big art show we have at the end of the year,” she said.

Genco suggested they ask the Cranbury Arts Council to get in the gallery for the month of March for National Youth Art Month.

“We asked and the spot was open and we have done it just about every year,” she said.

There are several types of artwork displayed in the gallery. They are 3-D pieces, eighth grade paints where they do an artists study where students replicate a famous artist and they do the painting on a recycled bottled, clay pieces are displayed, as well as, a couple plastered mats, and there is an origami sculpture.

“We are so lucky as a school to have the Cranbury Arts Council Gallery so close to us and have that space,” Crannage said. “When students get that letter in the mail that their piece was chosen, is just fantastic for them. They get to experience when they are young that there is a thing called art appreciation and it starts at any age.”

She said she already has students coming up to her asking which piece of artwork is being displayed.

“They get so excited when they see their artwork hung up on the wall. It is very important to showcase. It is about enjoying what was made and showing appreciation,” Crannage said.

She said she hopes people are happy with the exhibit.

“People are already super excited about the artwork displayed. This is just a great reflection of the hard work these students are doing.”

For more information about the exhibit contact the Cranbury Arts Council at [email protected].