Workshop participant Moses Masingila came up with The Strange Place following an assignment given in one of Cory Kellerson's classes.
It's show time
Most of the time, M-17—the South Campus building where the art workshops are held—assumes a rather, well, unassuming presence. With half of the building occupied by the art education program and the other home to the Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School, a sort of organized chaos prevails. But in the days preceding the Color Wheel Student Art Show, an amazing change occurs.
      "We transform the entire building into gallery space," McLaughlin says. "By the time we get done with it, it doesn't even look like the same place." The walls of M-17 are first covered with white board, then with the hundreds of works children have created and collected in their pizza-box portfolios during the previous eight weeks. A huge cardboard cutout of the Mona Lisa sits by the door, poised to greet guests. Once inside, visitors quickly realize the amazing scope of the children's work—and the lessons. In eight weeks, the students cover everything from cubist-inspired landscapes to graphic novels. Descriptions of the students' original lesson plans are hung alongside the artwork.
      SU students spend many long hours preparing for the show, but when it's finished, the pupils are the stars. "It takes a lot of work, but when it's all done—wow!" Schaeffer says. "It's really neat to walk through and see the kids with their parents. They are so proud. And the parents appreciate that we have an event like this.""It feels good to look around and see that all the preparations were worth it and people are enjoying it," says junior Lauren Renda. "The show is not about how it makes us look, it's about how it looks to the kids."
      Julia Calagiovanni is just 5 years old, but this is her second year as a program participant. A seasoned workshop veteran, she leads her parents around M-17, proudly showing them what she's done the past eight Saturday mornings. Her dad, Richard Calagiovanni '70, a graduate student in the School of Information Studies, is delighted with the show. He and his wife, Alicia '74, G'77, G'85, explain that when their daughter expressed a strong interest in art, they were happy to learn their alma mater had a program for her. "Julia has always loved art," he says. "This program is great and she's gotten a lot out of it. The students do a wonderful job and we are very happy to bring her here."
      Senior Allison Weschler says the show also gives students a better idea of how their classmates' lesson plans worked in practice. "The show is an important part of the program because the kids, parents, and students get to see how much progress we've made in the workshops. When it's going on, things get so busy. Sometimes you don't really have a chance to look at what everyone else is doing."
Junior Kathleen Kane, far left, explains the theme of an art exhibition during a Saturday morning workshop.
      Irvine says the show represents a culmination of the benefits students and participants receive from the program. Months and years down the road, long after the children's artwork has been removed from the walls, the experiences shared at M-17 will linger. Irvine believes the students who become art teachers will be better prepared than they realize. "They won't use a lot of the work we do with them until they have been in the classroom a few years and feel secure," she says. "They probably won't even think about it. It will just come back. They'll be in their classrooms and will suddenly recall something they did here in this workshop."

The Silly Face, a paper image created by workshop participant Julia Calagiovanni.
Memorial fund benefits neighborhood kids
Jeffrey Blumin '86 still remembers the Saturday mornings he and his brother, Kyle '93, spent attending art workshops at SU. The lessons did little to inspire artistic talent in Blumin, but they did make a lifelong impact, he says. Thanks to the steady guidance of their mother, Wendie, the boys grew up with an appreciation for the aesthetic world. "I must admit, I don't have a strong interest in the arts, but my whole concept of beauty-or at least what I define as being beautiful—can be attributed to what my mother taught me," Blumin says. "For her whole life she remained active and continued her interest in the arts, and she tried to pass that along to my brother and me."
      Wendie W. Blumin, who died last year, was a lifelong art enthusiast and frequent part-time student of SU's fine arts department in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Her son remembers her tireless efforts to share her love of art with her family and the young people in the community. In honor of that dedication, the Blumin family established the Wendie W. Blumin Art Education Memorial Fund. According to Lori Golden, director of college-based development for the School of Education, the fund will provide scholarships to young people within the community to help defray the cost of the Syracuse University Skytop Art Workshops. The fund will also provide a boost to the program's supply budget.
      "Certainly there are a lot of young people who have potential. Maybe they are in school districts that don't have the ability to provide the materials that would enable these children to realize that potential," Blumin says. "This fund will give those children a chance to attend these workshops."
SU participants in the Skytop Art Workshops for Young People take a break during the Color Wheel Student Show. The Wendie W. Blumin Art Education Memorial Fund will provide new support for the workshops.
      After discussing the family's ideas for the fund with Hope Irvine, director of the art education program, Blumin was even more confident about the contribution. "Hope was very enthusiastic about this," he says. "The more I spoke to her, the more I felt like we were doing the right thing. She seemed so in tune with the purpose of this fund."
Tammy Conklin

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