Annual Art Show Highlights Art – and the Process Behind It

June 07, 2018

To create the work at the annual Art Show at the Walden and Pines Bridge Schools at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, students danced on canvases, banged paint-dipped mallets on drums and weaved strips into colorful masterpieces. They also used paintbrushes and other traditional tools to create artworks.

The Art Show, which closes tomorrow, is the culmination of a year of classes at the two schools at the PNW BOCES campus in Yorktown Heights.
This year, for the first time, art teacher Jesse Steiner included photos and videos that show the students at work creating art.

“Our approach to art is sensory based,” Steiner said. “To create the art, the kids are feeling, smelling, exploring textures – even dancing.”

Steiner and Debra Canzio, teaching assistant, ensure that the students work on motor skills, interpersonal skills and communication skills during art class. They adapt projects so that the students can participate in different ways depending on their physical and developmental challenges.

The resulting art is as different as the students.

Over a set of drums hangs circular cutouts that students created by choosing different types of mallets and different paints. Group projects include canvases created by students dancing together to rap songs in shoes that had been covered with plastic wrap and brushed with paint. 

“That project was a chance for the students to give their peers positive feedback,” Steiner said. The weaving project gave students a chance to both explore different textures and work on fine motor skills.

More than 200 students from across the region participated in the show.
Christian Irizarry stands near one of his artworks (the yellow abstract to his right) at the Annual Art Show at the Pines Bridge and Walden Schools at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES.