Students show off talent at district art show

May 18, 2018

Fourth grader Matthew Faria ran into the Dartmouth High gymnasium on May 17, and quickly found one of his masterpieces hanging amongst hundreds of pieces of artwork.

It was of a pumpkin he drew in class, which he created using classroom lessons in color and light to make. Darker colors were used to represent shadowing and a gradual blend from dark to light provided a more realistic look.

He was happy with how it turned out, and excited to share what he had learned.

“We learn things some kids might not know and get better at it as we go along,” he said.

Faria was one of hundreds of Dartmouth students with artwork on display at the District Wide Art Show. The art exhibits spanned two thirds of the Dartmouth High gymnasium, and included works by students in preschool through the 12th grade. A host of mediums were covered, including sculptures, clothing, books, and photographs.

In the seventh grade, Rebecca Benoit turned to art as something to do, but it soon became her favorite hobby. The Dartmouth High student now plans to study art in college.

The artist took home five awards for her work. Of all the pieces she had on display, a drawing of a pepper was her favorite.

“I love working with cray pas and like oil pastels,” Benoit said. “I guess I just wanted to find a creative angle to look at the pepper and how the light affects it with the different colors.”

Awards were given out in various categories. Alumni who studied art took between seven and eight hours to carefully judge each piece, with varying criteria based on the category of the work.

Benoit wasn’t the only artist to walk away with awards during the night. Dartmouth High student Malia Cafasso was surprised to receive two awards.

“I’m very shocked,” Cafasso said. “I was in the art show my freshman year, so it feels really good to get two. I’m really impressed and I’m very happy with both of them.”

Another portion of the gym was used to showcase the innovative side of the district. The area featured robots from the district’s robotics team and technology the schools have been implementing in its classrooms.

Superintendent Bonny Gifford enjoyed seeing the culmination of work come together in one place for all of the community to enjoy.

“I’m a huge supporter of all these different programs- the theater, anything hands-on, project-based, anything that engages students because you never know what student is sitting in your classroom and is he or she going to be the next Beethoven or Picasso or a computer scientist,” Gifford said. “We can’t restrict our teaching to the core.”