Quinnipiac’s Kaleidoscope of Creativity gallery highlights youth artwork at the School of Education

April 14, 2024

School of Education Dean Anne Dichele celebrates student artist at the gallery ceremony

Artwork by 25 children from area public schools radiates with color and resonates with creativity within Quinnipiac’s 2024 Kaleidoscope of Creativity gallery at the School of Education.

On April 9, excited student artists, their families and public school art educators visited the newly hung art in the gallery. Refreshed annually with new student works, the wide variety of paintings, photographs and designs fills the Kaleidoscope of Creativity gallery in the School of Education lobby. The gallery is on display year-round to inspire faculty, students, staff and members of the public visiting the North Haven Campus.

The art education program partners Quinnipiac with local school districts and art educators who select the array of student work for the gallery. The student artists are celebrated during a special viewing reception where they receive a certificate of recognition from the School of Education.

School of Education Dean Anne Dichele welcomed attendees and presented certificates to this year’s artists, representing students in kindergarten through grade 12. Dichele said it was a privilege to be able to honor the young artists and to demonstrate the importance of the arts in American education.

“Former First Lady Michelle Obama once said that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation’s leaders tomorrow, and we agree with that,” said Dichele. “These young people whom we celebrate today are clearly innovative thinkers and artists and they may lead the 21st century with their imagination and their talents.”

Dichele also thanked the program’s public education partners including Diana Blythe, art coordinator, North Haven Public Schools; Leslie Della Valle, director of fine and performing arts, Hamden Public Schools; Nicole Bimonte, art instructor, Fair Haven School; and Brenna VanSteenbergen, art instructor, Side by Side Charter School in South Norwalk.

Side by Side Charter School student Carly Grimm, a seventh grader, said she hadn’t considered herself as having artistic talent until her piece was chosen for the gallery.  Grimm developed a compelling composite abstract graphic that draws the viewer in to discover different elements of her family’s Vermont vacation visits.

“My teacher told me to do representations of different things and I decided to have things going in all directions,” said Grimm.

Fair Haven School student Susannah Coe, 10, said she entitled her large, colorful painting featuring three boldly situated birds 'Spring.' Her mom, Whitney Coe, said she was absolutely thrilled to see her daughter’s exuberant artwork on display at Quinnipiac.

“This is our first time seeing what she produced because she asked if it could be a surprise,” said Coe. “I’m really impressed. I just love all the colors she picked and to see it hanging here, framed so beautifully, is really amazing.”

All of the art on display in the gallery was matted and framed by School of Education graduate students in faculty member Alex Novak’s course on facilitating the arts.

Associate Professor of Education Monica Cavender said that having student artwork on view at the School of Education is an uplifting experience for her and her master of arts in teaching students.

“It’s nice to be surrounded by the children’s artwork because that’s why we’re here, to work with the children,” said Cavender. “It’s really inspirational.”

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