This week I had the honor (along with Barbara Rowe and Doreen Deboth) of being a judge in the Art as History Project sponsored by the Black Rock Historical Museum. This year’s theme was ‘Envisioning the Scajaquada’ for a better future. The timely subject gave students a chance to learn about the past and living history of all aspects of the Scajaquada, its creek, and environment. Kerry Chiado, the very dedicated and talented teacher at Riverside, inspired her students with ecology, art history, mythology and more. The results were truly colorful, unique and creative! It was a very tough choice to narrow it down to the top five prize winners. Here they are, standing shyly and a bit overwhelmed:

    Doreen DeBoth, Coordinator of the Black Rock Historical Society, Delia DeLeone Olmo, 3rd place winner, Tiara Pagan, 2nd place winner, Saw Freeman, 1st place winner, Kerry Chiado, Riverside Art Teacher, Jazmin Mendez, Honorable Mention, Ella Dunne, Riverside Principal, and Bawi Kahn, Honorable Mention. All other students who completed the project received a Certificate of Community Service.

    More about the project:

    This year’s Art as History Project was funded by grants from the Ronald McDonald Foundation and the West Side Youth Development Coalition. Two Buffalo schools agreed to participate in the contest for the fall 2016 semester, Riverside High School and Our Lady of Black Rock. The Art teachers and Principals at both schools fully embraced the project and teachers diligently prepared courses allowing for over 200 students to participate. Of note is the significant diversity of the students who were engaged in the project. Students in grades 6th-12 represented over a dozen countries. Allowing for limited language learners, a special curriculum was developed to ensure that all students had a chance to work on this project.

    The Black Rock Historical Society goal for the student project includes fostering a better understanding about neighborhood history; taking pride in having student work displayed at a venue such as a museum, and resulting in pride in their community. Students participating will be a positive role model to their peers and have a much better understanding of their environment’s potential.