Credit Art teachers for their growth
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo (MORE PHOTOS FOLLOW)
WEBSTER – The Bartlett High School Art Department is without question one of the coolest around and now anyone who wants to experience the work of these talented young people will get the chance.
Throughout the next few months, you can check out the latest art by some of Bartlett’s gifted art students at the Booklovers’ Gourmet on East Main Street in Webster.
“Deb Horan (Booklovers’ Gourmet) asked us if we wanted to exhibit some student works there and she gave us March and April. We decided to do one month with the digital arts class and one month with the advanced placement art class,” said Sean Harrington, who teaches the school’s digital art class.
The digital arts students’ works will be on display in March, with a reception taking place on Saturday, March 16, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. They will then give way in April to Rebecca Osborn’s advanced placement art class, with a reception happening on Saturday, April 6, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
It was about a year ago that the Bartlett digital arts class “really got rolling” according to Harrington. “I have learned huge amounts of information. It’s been a full year of figuring stuff out and we have come a long way. I think over the next couple of classes it will become easier for me and I will be able to help the students learn things a little bit more quickly.”
Harrington has been impressed with the creativity and development of his students, including senior Isaac Whitecotton. “Isaac came in a week ago and was building websites and I was like, how did you figure that out?”
Whitecotton, who will attend Quinsigamond Community College to study accounting in the fall, said he had been taking art classes the last few years and became drawn to the media arts class. “I heard about the new class and I thought it would be a good one to take. I have always been interested in using computers and photography on line. I did some studying at home and now I am learning to make my own web pages,” he said.
“Since tenth grade I have had Mr. Harrington and he has been a really good teacher. He has taught me a lot,” said Whitecotton. “This media arts class has inspired me to want to learn more about designing web pages.”
Another student, Sara Prunier, who will attend Fitchburg State University and major in Media Communications, said, “I think this class has been a good starter for me. It has made me realize that this is definitely what I want to go into.”
“Sara approached me last year to join the class because of her interest in graphic design,” said Harrington.
Senior Amber Daigneault, who wants to go to college to study,
Advertising and Marketing Communications said, “Photoshop and editing pictures and coming up with creative designs is pretty much what I want to do for the rest of my life, so learning this software and technology has helped me so much. I feel like I am going to get into college and be one step ahead of everyone else in editing.”
“Companies are not cutting back on their advertising budgets so graphic arts is a big thing because graphic arts designers are creating commercials and advertisements,” said Harrington. “It’s a field that is thriving, as is photography. There are careers and real jobs out there, especially if you like to travel and go to interesting places.”
Fifth year Bartlett art teacher Rebecca Osborn, who’s advanced placement class will be featured at the Booklovers’ through April as part of the second show, is also excited about how fast things are growing in the department.
“This is the first year Bartlett has and an advanced placement class in art. The students can actually take a college-level course while they are in high school and get college credit,” said Osborn.
As far as her students who will be participating in the art show, Osborn said, “They are the best art students in the school, as far as I know right now, so people can expect to see high quality artwork. It’s a really good positive spin on the Bartlett art department.”
Two of Osborn’s students, Maria Palkon and Trisha Danforth, have been accepted into the Massachusetts College of Art, which made their teacher “very proud of them.”
Palkon, who was born in the Czech Republic and lives in Charlton, has always had art in her blood. “I have spoken to old friends and preschool teachers who said I was always sitting by myself in the corner and drawing, sculpting, creating something,” she said.
“It wasn’t until high school that I started considering myself an artist because drawing and painting is something I did. It was never labeled until I got into high school and that is the first time I saw my path,” said Palkon, who said she comes to Bartlett through school choice because she enjoys having Osborn for a teacher. “Mrs. Osborn is the driving force for my artistic direction.”
Senior Trisha Danforth, who claims to have a love/hate artistic competition with Palkon, feels the same about her teacher. “I didn’t know what art was until I took Mrs. Osborn’s class and then I loved it, it fell upon me, I had no choice, and I thought this is what it’s going to be forever.”
Danforth also said, “I am excited for the Booklovers’ showcase, I like their whole local vibe.”
Bartlett senior Trisha Danforth will attend Massachusetts College of Art in the fall
Bartlett art teacher Sean Harrington
Bartlett senior Sara Prunier will attend Fitchburg State University in the fall
The Bartlett digital arts class has become a popular class