Teaching By Example

Area residents gathered at the James Prendergast Library on Friday evening to enjoy a display of works created by art teachers from across Chautauqua County.

According to Anne Plyler, special projects librarian, what’s exciting about the exhibit is that it isn’t the work of the teacher’s students, it’s their own.

“It’s exciting for students to see that their teachers are actually creating work of their own and not just teaching them how to do it,” said Plyler. “It’s also a popular show for the library because there is a lot of variety – you never know what you’ll see.”

Some examples of the mediums represented in the exhibit include: watercolor, acrylic, clay, graphite and oil paint, photography, colored pencil, oil on canvas, Adobe Illustrator, watercolor on rice paper, pigment print on salted paper, stoneware and under glaze and more.

The teachers who have work on display are members of the Chautauqua County Art Teachers organization. They include: Janet Gould, Stephanie Baker, Kirk Frink, Terry Carlson, Brandy Fuller, David Mazzone, Lisa Corey, all of Jamestown; James Vincent, of Falconer; Mark Kirsh, Jenny Brown and Renee Mitchener, all of Southwestern; Paul Abate and Denise Cash-Williams, both of Silver Creek; Cheri Burk and Laura Murphy, both of Clymer; and Stephanie Brash, of Brocton.

Brown, who has been a teacher at Southwestern for the past 17 years, has several of her pet portraits on display.

“I think this is a great thing for the county’s art teachers,” said Brown. “I do it because I like to get my artwork out there. It’s good as a way for the community to come together and to do something with art teachers from other schools.”

Frink, who has several pieces of photography on display, said he believes that every teacher should practice what they preach.

“If we’re going to stand in front of students and try to get them to have the courage to create, then we ought to be doing it too,” said Frink.

Baker, who has been in the show for 11 years, said that it’s good for the students to see their teacher’s creations. She also enjoys having the opportunity to share company with other area teachers. She has some watercolor pieces on display, as well as a mixed media collage drawing with oil pastels. But the piece she is the most proud of is the colored pencil “Baby Jack” drawing.

“It’s great to know that once a year we can gather to have this little show,” said Baker.

Carlson has been the chairman of exhibit for the past 20 years. She also participates in the exhibit, and has several pieces on display. Her main medium is photography, which she has been doing for more than 40 years.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and this year’s turnout is bigger than ever before,” said Carlson. “The thing that I always look forward to is that we have such a variety of talent in our area so it’s phenomenal to come together. I encourage my students to come to the exhibit, and even offer them extra credit if they do. They look at the artwork and then answer a questionnaire about what they liked and why they liked it. The event should let the community know how important art is, and to recognize how many talented people we have in our area.”

The annual exhibit, which features more than 16 teachers and a wide variety of mediums, will be on display until Friday, April 26. The exhibit is located next to the Fireplace Room. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The James Prendergast Library is located at 509 Cherry St. in Jamestown. For more information call 484-7135 or visit www.prendergastlibrary.org.