Kyra Zapf, "Blue Shades," 2016

Kyra Zapf, “Blue Shades,” 2016. Watercolor, 8” x 10”. John Dewey Academy, grade 11. ©Kyra Zapf. All rights reserved.

Stockbridge, MA, January 19, 2016—Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. At age 14, he enrolled in art classes at The New York School of Art. He painted his first commission of four Christmas cards before his sixteenth birthday and began studying art full-time at The National Academy of Design and The Art Students League. While still in his teens, he was hired as art director of Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, and began a successful freelance career illustrating a variety of young people’s publications.

In celebration of the creativity of youth, Norman Rockwell Museum is proud to present the 30th anniversary of the Berkshire County High School Art Show, on view at the Museum from February 6 through March 6, 2016. A diverse exhibition of original works, this annual display teaches Berkshire County high school art students how to prepare their work for a gallery show, and acquire a personal understanding of the exhibition process. The exhibition is generously sponsored by Berkshire Bank.

“We are so pleased to continue supporting this wonderful program that gives students hands-on experience with every aspect of exhibiting a professional art show,” notes Lori Gazzillo, Director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. “We continue to be impressed with the quality of work created by students at schools throughout our region, and we applaud the Norman Rockwell Museum for allowing them to showcase through this public forum.”

“Every year our staff and visitors look forward to the Berkshire County High School Art Show,” adds Tom Daly, the Museum’s curator of education, who helps organize the exhibition. “This anniversary gives us time to reflect on the different generations that have participated in the show. We look forward to welcoming visitors to see the work of the next generation.”

A special exhibition opening will be held at the Museum on Saturday, February 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. with participating artists in attendance; illustrator Dennis Dittrich will also be on hand to offer insight and encouragement to future art professionals, starting at 2 p.m. Admission to the opening and exhibition is free (does not include regular Museum admission).

Dennis Dittrich began his career as an illustrator in 1982 and earned his MFA from Syracuse University in 1986. His clients include Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, Field and Stream, Electra Records, Golden Books, Reader’s Digest, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Presently serving the Society of Illustrators as Executive Vice President and Lecture Series Chairman, Dittrich is also an assistant professor at New Jersey City University. Visit the artist’s website at:
Upcoming Exhibition:

Young Artists Series
“Reimagining The Four Freedoms”
March 11, 2016 through April 3, 2016

This exhibition, celebrating the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech, will feature original artworks re-imagining Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings. Artwork to be displayed has been created by Region 6 Capital Eastern District high school students from Schoharie, Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties.