Students excel in middle school art show

By Page H. Gifford, Correspondent

Judges from the Fluvanna Art Association were again stunned by the young talent at the Fluvanna Middle School’s annual art show.
The key to their success begins with their dedicated teacher Margie Kritzer’s, whose techniques allowed the students to use their imagination to create their vision.

Kritzer explained how she approaches the youngest students, the fifth graders, who begin transitioning from elementary school art to seeing and thinking in more abstract forms. Kritzer starts her fifth graders off working with simple materials and an idea to nurture their imaginations. The kaleidoscope designs are always fun to look at and see how each student manipulated the little pieces of colorful origami paper in creating unique designs.

Focusing on pattern and painting yielded some outstanding results in the secondary colors painting category with paintings by 5th grade students like Guiliana Badalucca. Her secondary colors painting was flawless in its execution and her design was unparalleled.
“Guiliana Badalucca’s secondary colors painting features a layer of fine decorative paint strokes that makes her painting the most memorable one of its kind,” said Kritzer.

Learning perspective is daunting at any age but by learning it early it can become second nature. Many of the students exhibited a clear understanding of the process with one-of-a kind drawings.

Sixth grade students take the next step and learn more advanced skill and the process of creation. According to Kritzer, many of her students were amazed at their own achievements and learned that using tools like rulers helped them to create more advanced designs.

The seventh grade, being more advanced with 3-D projects, showed skill and precision. Kritzer pointed out that in art the students learn problem solving through creation, which is an advantage in learning anything they choose later in life. She gives them the tools and the process they will need but they must figure it out and create it.

Every year since 1995, the year Kritzer began her career at FMS, her number one most inspired project is the 3D construction project.

“Although I choose to demonstrate the process of making a 3-part guitar, my own curiosity and interest in diverse solutions has paved the way for an endless variety of 3-D solutions. A great deal of engineering showcases the most outstanding projects, and simpler solutions are brought to life with captivating paint jobs,” said Kritzer. Over the years she has overseen the creation of a working guillotine with a replica of King Louis, a true-to-size saddle, a Star Wars “Death Star” and the “Millennium Falcon,” a grandfather clock with pendulum, an oversized Hershey bar, and the “leg lamp” from the movie, “A Christmas Story.”

Many of this years’ projects featured students who grasped the methods and techniques they had learned. Many agreed that Hayley Chisholm’s Contrast-O project features outstanding craftsmanship that captures the optical illusion of movement. Kritzer cited Ariana Grier’s black and white grid enlargement which takes Anime to a photo-realistic level. Kritzer adds that Grier is also building a portfolio with her own private collection of drawings.

Taylor Peck’s “Do you want fries with that?” is Pop Art fun.

“His sculpture solves many engineering challenges and represents “Pop Art” in a fashion that everyone can recognize and appreciate,” said Kritzer.

“Karina Ortiz-Ramos devised a cardboard layering method to make donuts that are realistic in form, yet she chose vibrant surrealistic colors of paint to challenge the initially realistic representation. And Asiana Hawkins used a deconstructed cafeteria milk carton to re-create her over-sized version of “Lyrical Lemonade.”

Drawing is one of those mediums every student must master but some don’t feel it is challenging enough. But 6th grader Allison Montfalcone transformed her 3D cubes into animals and other creative objects, coloring her composition masterfully.

Students will be making dream catchers and baskets in the upcoming weeks for the Arts & Crafts class. Kritzer added that this year the Advanced Art class was replaced by the end-of-the-year Arts & Crafts class.

As always, all the students were winners by showing their originality and understanding of art techniques in this year’s competition.

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