Local students display art at Empire State Plaza

More than 1,000 pieces of artwork created by students from 15 Capital Region school districts will be on view on the Empire State Plaza Concourse through March 18.

The exhibition, held each year during National Youth Art Month, features works of art created by students in kindergarten through eighth grade. School districts represented include Albany, Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Bethlehem, Guilderland, Ichabod Crane, Mohonasen, Niskayuna, North Colonie, Schenectady, Scotia-Glenville, Shenendehowa, Mechanicville, East Greenbush, Rensselaer, and Ballston Spa.

There will be an opening reception honoring participating students at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at the south end of the Empire State Plaza concourse, which is closest to the Madison Avenue entrance.

“The Empire State Plaza Art Collection is one of our state’s most important treasures, and I am proud that we can use this wonderful resource to inspire students at an early age by introducing them to these great works of art,” General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito said in a release from her office.

The student exhibit is the result of a collaboration between the OGS Plaza Art Collection Office and the Capital Area Art Supervisors. Through tours and educational resources, the program introduces the Plaza Art Collection into the curriculum of local elementary and middle schools where the students are invited to create their own works of art by interpreting the Plaza Art Collection.

The Empire State Plaza Art Collection consists of 92 modern art paintings, sculptures, and tapestries that were purchased in the late 1960s to the early 1970s, including works by Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, and Mark Rothko. In all, 82 artists who were working in New York at the time the collection was acquired are represented. The collection, selected by a commission appointed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, was purchased with state funds during construction of the Empire State Plaza.

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