Image credit: “Something Read,” Julian Behnal. Pittsfield High School. ©Julian Behnal. All rights reserved.

In 1912, 18-year-old Norman Rockwell landed the first of many successful illustration commissions for the Boy Scouts of America; four years later, he painted the first of 323 covers for “The Saturday Evening Post.” In celebration of the creativity of youth, Norman Rockwell Museum is proud to present the 25th anniversary of the Annual Berkshire County High School Art Show, with a special exhibition opening to be held at the Museum on Saturday, February 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. The exhibition will be on view at the Museum from February 5 through March 6, 2011.

“The creativity of Berkshire County’s high school students and their teachers is clearly evident in the works on view in this exhibition,” notes Norman Rockwell Museum Deputy Director/Chief Curator Stephanie Plunkett. “From abstraction to realism and three-dimensional assemblages, every possible approach is explored in the vibrant works on view.”

An annual tradition, Berkshire County high school students submit original works to the High School Art Show in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, mixed media, and sculpture. The young artists learn how to prepare their work for a gallery show, acquire a personal understanding of the exhibition process, and have the opportunity to exhibit their work in a professional museum setting.

With over 112 original works from 13 schools on display, participating schools in the 25th Annual Berkshire County High School Art Show include: BArT Charter School, Berkshire School, Drury High School, John Dewey Academy, Lenox Memorial High School, Miss Hall’s School, Monument Mountain Regional High School, Mount Everett Regional High School, Mount Greylock Regional High School, Pittsfield High School, St. Joseph Central High School, Taconic High School, and Wahconah Regional High School. The exhibition is generously sponsored by Legacy Banks.

Exhibition Opening

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet this next generation of talented young artists at the exhibition opening. The afternoon will include refreshments, as well as a special 2 p.m. lecture for budding artists and their families, provided by acclaimed picture book illustrator Ruth Sanderson. Admission to the High School Art Show opening is free for all Berkshire County high schools students.

Ruth Sanderson has been illustrating books for children for over 30 years. Since 1989 she has illustrated and retold numerous fairytales (“Goldilocks,” “Papa Gatto,” “The Sleeping Beauty”) and has written and illustrated a number of original books for children, including “The Twelve Dancing Princesses;” “The Enchanted Wood;” and “Saints, Lives and Illuminations.” Ms. Sanderson’s paintings have been featured in a number of museum exhibitions, including 2004’s “Women in Illustration: Contemporary Visions and Voices” at Norman Rockwell Museum. Her work has appeared on collector’s plates, greeting cards, fantasy book covers, and in magazine and advertising venues. A teacher of graduate level programs in Picture Book Illustration, and Childrens’ Literature at Hollins University in Roanake, Virginia, Ms. Sanderson is also a member of the Illustrators Advisory Board at Norman Rockwell Museum. Visit her website at: http://www.goldenwoodstudio.com.

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