Richard Buery Praises the 9th Annual Children’s Art Show!

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Since the day I joined Children’s Aid, I’ve regularly heard the refrain: “wait until the art show, wait until the art show.” Well, the wait is over! On Wednesday evening February 24, I had the privilege of attending the opening of our 9th Annual Children’s Art Show at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park. I was blown away!

This special evening is the culmination of months of careful planning, curating and staging by The Children’s Aid Society’s Board Arts Committee members, trustees, staff and enthusiastic volunteers, who worked tirelessly to ensure our young artists have this memorable opportunity to display their talents to friends and family. We are especially grateful to our gracious host, Mr. Aldon James, President of the National Arts Club, and all of our friends at the Arts Club, for once again welcoming the Children’s Aid community into their home and showcasing our young people’s remarkable work.

The variety and quality of the work by the 150 talented young Children’s Aid artists whose work is represented in the exhibit is overwhelming. The creativity and inventiveness of the young minds on display is a revelation. I was mesmerized by the portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr., created in dominoes by youth of East Harlem Center, working under the guidance of Midge Caparosa; it captivated me all evening, and I fell in love with the fashions made from recyclable materials created and modeled by students at our Mirabal Sisters community school campus in Washington Heights. Under the supervision of Crystal Chaparro, members of the Eco-Fashion and Green Design Club at M.S. 324 created fashions from MetroCards, newspapers, plastic trash bags and recycled fabric – but that description doesn’t begin to do justice to the smashing dresses modeled for us that night. Those fashions provided a glorious end to a fabulous evening, made all the more special by the obvious pride shared by the young artists, their parents, staff and guests.

This art show, and our other showcases for young talent throughout the year, could not make a better case for the need to integrate the arts into the education and the lives of children and youth. Children’s Aid’s school- and center-based classes and clubs fill a huge gap in our children’s lives, one that grows wider and deeper with every cut to arts programming in the schools. The development, academic success and self esteem of youth are enhanced importantly and immeasurably with the creative and learning opportunities provided by the arts. Children’s Aid is proud to provide these opportunities for all the young people we touch.

The 9th Annual Arts Show would not have been possible without the collective efforts of The Children’s Aid Society’s dedicated Board Arts Committee, trustees, staff and volunteers, including: our esteemed committee members, Co-Chairs Meredith Rugg and Lolita Jackson, Maeve Gyenes, Anne Citrin, Angela Diaz, Ann Kugel, Donna Glazer Pressman, Alan Katz, Neil Waldman, Marty McLanahan, and Sidney Sass; and dedicated staff members, Cathleen Miles, Jadrien Ellison, Giany Mejia, Hersilia Mendez, Maria Panora, Arianne Recto, Fatima Reyes, Kelly Campbell, Stephen Michael Rondel, and Alma Whitford, who worked diligently behind the scenes to plan, curate and stage this remarkable exhibit and evening for our talented young people to share with their loved ones and the entire Children’s Aid community. Once again, our friends and partners at the National Arts Club were instrumental in bringing this special exhibit to fruition and making it such a memorable event.

To view images of the Children's Art Show, click here.

To view the 2009-10 Arts Inventory, click here.

Richard R. Buery, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer The Children's Aid Society