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PPS Student Artwork in Digital YAM

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PPS Student Artwork in Digital YAM
Posted on 03/12/2021
This is the image for the news article titled PPS Student Artwork in Digital YAM

Creative works from Portland Public Schools students and other art students from around Maine are on online display at the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) in celebration of Youth Art Month.

 For almost 30 years, PMA and the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) have collaborated to bring National Youth Art Month to Maine. The exhibition is designed to underscore the value of art education for all children and encourages support for quality art programs in Maine schools.

 PMA describes the youth art show this way: “This annual exhibition showcases the incredible work produced by K-12 students throughout the state, representing a wide variety of youth perspectives and artistic practices in Maine. MAEA member teachers – the dedicated individuals at the forefront of Maine's quality school art programs – each select one piece of exemplary work from their classrooms to represent the creative efforts of their students and to empower students with a passion and talent for art.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Youth Art Month has gone digital for the first time. PMA said the online exhibition “brings exciting opportunities to share the artwork of Maine’s youth with a wider audience. We hope that the artworks in this exhibition inspire more creativity, spark more conversations, and garner support for more arts education in our schools and in our communities.”

Digital receptions will be held on Saturday, March 13, for the young artists and their families. Learn more and view the artwork: https://www.portlandmuseum.org/yam-2021

PPS students participating this year, the titles of their artwork and their art teachers are:

Grades 9-12

        Venice Melcher, 10th grade, Portland High School, Amy. Teacher: Barbara Loring

        Hawa Muana, 9th grade, Deering High School, untitled. Teacher: Emily Serway

        Jayda Ray-James, 12th grade, Deering High School, Money. Teacher: Audrey Rolfe

Grades 5-8

        August d'Ambruoso, 5th grade, Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Pop Art Graffiti. Teacher: Samantha OConnor

        Holly I., 5th grade, East End Community School, untitled. Teacher: Melissa Maher

        Camilla Pham, 5th grade, Amanda C. Rowe Elementary School, untitled. Teacher: Jonathan Graffius

        Garret Shaw, 8th grade, Lyman Moore Middle School,  untitled (Home Triptych). Teacher: Rachel Branham

        Achile T., 5th grade, Howard C. Reiche Community School, untitled. Teacher: Allison Villani

Kindergarten-Grade 4

        Edward A., 4th grade, Cliff Island School, Attack of the Cyborg Hydra. Teacher: Miss Jenny Baum

        Vasco S., 2nd grade, Presumpscot Elementary School, untitled (still life). Teacher: Heather Livingstone

PHOTO: Attached is a portrait by PHS sophomore Venice Melcher, titled "Amy." Here is the artist's statement: "I created this portrait of my mom because she creates a lot of change in my life and the lives of others. She volunteers weekly at a local hospice and animal shelter, and has a business where she sells reusable products made from organic cotton, along with being a great mom! I used mixed media, including watercolor and acrylic paints. I used the neurographic technique for my mom’s face, and cut out and glued down little pieces of paper to create the objects surrounding her.”

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced school meals.