It was a postcard weekend for aspiring artists at the Philadelphia Flower Show.
Because FDR Park in South Philadelphia was filled with flower and horticultural enthusiasts, many young artists got the chance to show their work to thousands of people, thanks to Bloom Boom, hosted by the nonprofit Fresh Artists.
For the fourth consecutive year, Fresh Artists has collected enrollments from kindergarten students up to 12th grade for display in an exhibition curated at the Flower Show 2022, which was held June 11-19 at FDR Park.
The exhibit featured 126 young artists from the Philadelphia, Norristown and Camden school districts.
“I can’t remember a day when I didn’t enjoy going to work and seeing and working with the children’s artwork and all the passion they put into it and doing my best to honor their intentions through that work of art. ‘art by reproducing it, “said Creative Director and Fresh Artists co-founder Roger Allen.” It’s both a pleasure and a blessing. “
On Saturday, students were invited with their families to join the exhibition and see their work professionally displayed as each artwork was enlarged thanks to sponsorship from Canon and its latest technology. The artwork was printed with Arizona and Colorado large format printers and placed in gilded frames curated for the exhibit.
The purpose of this year’s show was to highlight how people have overcome the pandemic.
“What we were really focusing on for the exhibit was exploring the concept of flowering as a metaphor for how after two difficult years of COVID, people can start blooming again and be the best version of themselves as flowers do in their most form. exceptional, amazing and beautiful moment, ”Allen said.
Several South Philly schools have exhibited art, including the George W. Nebinger School on Carpenter Street in Bella Vista. Nebinger’s elementary visual arts educator Leslie Grace was beaming with pride when three of her students had exhibited works of art.
“It’s really fun because sometimes in the art room you get kids who might not get a lot of accolades elsewhere and it’s really exciting for them to use the art space or the art way to find their voice and recognition. “Grace said. “It’s really amazing that there are these opportunities outside of school where we can find a way to celebrate them.”
Simone Carleton and Conception Escobar-Leon, who are in the seventh grade, along with Hazel McCormick, a future third grade, selected their artworks from 1,768 pieces submitted. Having their work on display has been a great reward for the hard work they put into it.
“Simone and Concezione held a morning arts club with me throughout the school year,” Grace said. “Most of the free time they have, they’re in the art classroom with a handful of other middle school students. Hazel used to come to the art club on Wednesdays and has always been very interested in art classes. They are certainly all aspiring little artists ”.
And that’s what Fresh Artists hopes to portray. The nonprofit organization, formed in 2008, showed the work of 47 different schools with enrollments of all age levels and included students with special needs. All 1,768 artworks are available for viewing on Fresh Artist’s website at www.freshartists.org. More than 100 proudly displayed their work at one of Philadelphia’s largest outdoor events.
“We can have fun exhibits like this where we can display children’s artwork in places that people wouldn’t really expect,” Allen said. “But even the children we serve wouldn’t necessarily have access. To be able to bring the passion and love of children to the Philadelphia Flower Show and take them to see that work of art and see how transformative it is is huge.
It also raises funds for future artists.
Fresh Artists installs and exhibits large-scale reproductions of children’s artwork in Fortune 100 company meeting rooms and on the sides of city buses. It is also featured in educational games found in museum shops and deluxe catalogs.
Since its creation, Fresh Artists has curated more than 2,300 student art from across the country and raised $ 2.5 million in art supplies and children’s programs.
“At Nebinger, we have done a lot of calls for art and contests that Fresh Artist does over the years,” Grace said. “I like being involved in the organization. I think it represents something really important ”.