Worcester Art Museum teams local students with professional artists for 14th Annual Art All-State

WORCESTER, MASS., MAY 22, 2001-Area high school students are among 140 young artists throughout the state selected to participate in the Worcester Art Museum's 14th Annual Art All-State, an intensive weekend institute to be held June 1-2.

Working with 16 professional artists in the Worcester Art Museum's studios, the selected students will collaborate on art installations to be exhibited for the public on Saturday, June 2 from 3-4 p.m. Taking advantage of their surroundings, artists will begin a dialogue with students about the art that inspires them in the Museum's galleries. In the studios, students' work will focus on contemporary art forms, the creative process and teamwork.

The application process for Art All-State is rigorous. Massachusetts high schools may nominate up to two 11th-grade students who demonstrate a keen interest in visual art and are deserving of recognition and encouragement. The final selection of Art All-State participants is based upon nomination materials and personal interviews conducted with each of the students. The final 140 to participate in Art All-State 2001 were whittled from a pool of 211 candidates.

“Art All-State provides students with a unique opportunity to work with their peers from across the Commonwealth,” said Sally Fortin-Francis, coordinator of Art All-State at the Worcester Art Museum. “It also opens the doors for these students to explore a gamut of art-related ideas. It shows them there is art after high school.”

Among Art All-State's 1,800 alumni are professionals working in every aspect of art and design, including full-time artists, art educators and industrial designers. Last year, two Art All-State alumni returned to act as artist/mentors in the program.

This year, Art All-State welcomes special guest artist Denise Marika, whose Unearthed video mural is on view at the Worcester Art Museum, to talk with the students about her installation. An adjunct faculty member in the 3D Department at the Massachusetts College of Art, Marika's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, MASS MoCA and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

World-renowned tape artist Michael Townsend also returns as a visiting artist to talk with the students. Townsend uses a blue, low-adhesive, biodegradable artist's tape to “draw” on the walls of the Museum, offering Art All-State participants the chance to view a public art piece in progress.

Art All-State 2001 is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Directors of Art Education, the Massachusetts Art Education Association and the Worcester Art Museum. A generous gift from the David Freelander Memorial Education Fund helps sustain the program. Art All-State is also made possible with donations from Maurice the Pants Man and Polaroid, and with the support of art educators from throughout the state.

Museum Background

Opened to the public in 1898, the Worcester Art Museum is the second largest art museum in New England. Its exceptional 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints and drawings is displayed in 36 galleries and spans 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from Egyptian antiquities and Roman mosaics to Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Throughout its first century, the Worcester Art Museum proved itself a pioneer: the first American museum to purchase work by Claude Monet (1910) and Paul Gauguin (1921); the first museum to bring a medieval building to America (1927); a sponsor of the first major excavation at Antioch, one of the four great cities of ancient Rome (1932); the first museum to create an Art All-State program for high school artists (1987); the originator of the first exhibition of Dutch master Judith Leyster (1993); and the first museum to focus its contemporary art programs on art of the last 10 years (1998). The Museum's hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-5pm, and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission: FREE for members; Non-members: $8 Adults; $6 Seniors and full-time college students with current ID; FREE for youth 17 and under; FREE for everyone Saturday mornings 10am-noon sponsored by The TJX Companies and Massachusetts Electric Company. For more information, call (508) 799-4406 or visit the Museum at 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester.