New Kensington art gallery features area high school students' work

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Social cause is the theme of the annual high school student art exhibit, March 3 to 30, in the Art Gallery at Penn State New Kensington.

The show, “Arts Alive,” is sponsored by the Alle-Kiski Arts Consortium, a group of local educators dedicated to bringing performing and visual arts to area students. Prissy Pakulski, visual arts educator at Valley High School in the New Kensington-Arnold School District, is the coordinator of the event.

“The art exhibit is a wonderful cooperative experience for the art students in the districts,” said Pakulski, a visual artist who previously has shown her work at the campus. “The gallery at Penn State New Kensington produces an ambiance of professionalism, and students get a real gallery exhibition experience.

Artwork by students from five area high schools: Highlands, Valley, Deer Lakes, Kiski Area and St. Joseph's; is featured in the show. The theme is interwoven in each school’s display.

"The exhibit is an opportunity for the student artist to complete the artistic creative experience by running the full circle of creation to display,” said Pakulski, who works in stained glass. “It is a yearlong experience in the visual arts.”

More than 500 two- and three-dimensional pieces, including paintings, drawings, sculpture and jewelry, will be hung salon-style, a European technique that dates back to the 17th century. Salon-style features a single exhibition room with artwork covering all the walls in a collage-like pattern.

“The salon style furthers the uniqueness of the young emerging artists,” Pakulski said. “In addition, easels and pedestals will further showcase the creations.”

A reception for the artists is set from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 24, in the art gallery. The exhibit, reception and performances are free to the public. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on the weekends.

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