When the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) put out a call to schools in Monroe County for original artwork to hang in their renovated guest rooms, Churchville-Chili art teachers stepped up. Churchville Elementary School’s Anne Clancy, Chestnut Ridge School’s Ariana D’Angelo, the High School’s Cheryl Simon, and Gretchen Foehner, who teaches at the Middle School and Fairbanks Road School, all presented their excited students with the unusual assignment. The five finished paintings by Churchville-Chili students, along with work from 10 other local school districts, were formally unveiled on May 30 at a grand opening celebration, hosted by RMHC’s President and CEO Kelly McCormick-Sullivan. Scores of visitors toured the welcoming new facilities and admired the original artwork.
Each participating classroom received the same blank 5’ x 4’ canvas from RMHC to work on. The resulting paintings are all full of caring, comfort and compassion, but each is strikingly different.
“As an art teacher, I thought it would be a great opportunity for student artists,” said Anne Clancy. “Our first-graders at Churchville Elementary approached it like a professional commission. We focused on some of the main themes of the organization’s mission statement to design the piece and then worked collaboratively to create it.”
Her students showed how different family and community members unite to support one another. They each created their own friendly, personality-filled fox character and then brought them together on their canvas in a colorful landscape.
Foehner’s seventh-grade artists shared the responsibilities of preliminary sketching and drawing, and then created hundreds of colorful squares and hearts. When added together, they formed a graceful cherry tree and sun pattern. Students finished by writing an inspiring artist’s statement to accompany their piece: “A Cherry Blossom represents the renewal and beauty of life just as the sun represents life and rebirth.”
At FRS, students in second and fourth grade brainstormed ideas and images and decided on a large heart shape, made up by scores of individual concentric circles, showing that we are all surrounded by people who care for us, and we all come together in community.
Over at CRS, D’Angelo’s students imagined a carefree, happy version of the city of Rochester under a joyful sky full of pink and purple hearts and love. At the High School, Simon’s group of talented International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement artists created their own surrealistic universe of mythical creatures and magic.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester supports the health and wellness of children and their families through innovative programming, supportive services and community partnerships. http://www.rmhcrochester.org/
TOP - Churchville-Chili High School artists imagined a magical, hopeful world. (l-r) Alexis Chanthachackvong, Renee Guerin and Aubin Ross-Guarino. (not present: Carmelo Ortiz, Rachel Miller, Jason Gibbs)
MIDDLE - The finishing touch for seventh-grade MS artists was their statement of purpose: “A Cherry Blossom represents the renewal and beauty of life just as the sun represents life and rebirth.”
BOTTOM - A friendly family of foxes by CES artists will welcome visitors to RMHC. Art by: Aliyana Figueroa, Carter Maysick, Archer Vonglis, Madelyn Freeman, Hailey Warren, Grant Dobson, Finnegan Hickey, Kinsley Keller, Ryan Childs, Aaliyah Hawley and Mason Morrison.