Artists in Residence

  • From the first forays into art basics in kindergarten to the meticulous self-portraits drawn by our high school art students, our district has a strong history of visual art education. Art instruction is an integral part of the Rush-Henrietta experience, and includes an exploration of techniques and media, art appreciation, and advanced art electives at the high school.

    A wonderful way to enhance art education is through visits by professional artists. For many years, visiting and resident artists came to the district to work with students. These professionals represented a wide range of visual and performing arts, including painting, pottery, video, fiber art, animation, sculpting, poetry, and illustration.

    Many of these artists donated works created during their residencies to the district. One work that remains prominently displayed is the large metal flag sculpture in the Senior High School auditorium. This impressive piece was the work of sculptor Carl Zollo, who donated it to the district after working with students in 1975. The installation is 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

    Zollo was a renowned sculptor who worked as an artist at Channel 8 and designed many sets for the Blackfriars Theatre. As part of his district residency, he worked with the students not just on welding and sculpture, but also stage design. A concept sketch he created of the flag sculpture hangs in the Parker Administration Building.

    In a letter to the artist, then Board of Education President Richard Bobbe said, “It is the sharing qualities of people such as yourself which gives education the richer quality we wish for our students.”

    That enrichment was evident in a number of works donated to the district by visiting artists. From an environmental painting donated by Howard Conant in 1969, to Carl Zollo’s metal flag in 1975, to ceramic and cement sculptures created in 1989 by Hana Biblowicz and students at Crane, Leary, Fyle, and Winslow, Rush-Henrietta students past and present are able to appreciate art close to home.

    Many of these works are still on display. The ceramic wall sculptures created by Hana Biblowicz and students are still found in the Leary cafeteria and Fyle entryway. A charcoal drawing by Peter Berg in 1982 hangs proudly in the Senior High School library. The Roth library still displays a wall hanging donated by Jan Townsley in the early 90s. The variety of artistic work displayed allows students to experience art as part of their K-12 journey in the district, and offers inspiration for our students to find their own creative outlets.

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