Usdan's "First Class" -- Free Public Student Art Exhibits

Written by Reva Cooper  |  29. December 2011

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, the renowned New York-area summer arts camp whose alumni include Natalie Portman and Mariah Carey, announces two free public art exhibits: First Class, the inaugural exhibit of works by students of Usdan's 2011 Portfolio Preparation Track will be presented at two public spaces from January to March 2012. Both exhibits are free and open to the public. Previous exhibits by students in the program (formerly titled the Usdan Honors Art Intensive) have been presented at major public venues in New York City and on Long Island. First Class features 6 of Long Island's talented 11th and 12 grade artists, each showing works that highlight their conceptual and artistic depth. Genres include life drawing, still life, self-portrait, landscape, photography, and sculpture. The artists are: Jessica Boyd of Shreiber High School, Manhasset, NY; Jessica Curry of Deer Park High School, Deer Park, NY; Denise Losee of Mepham High School, North Merrick, NY; Emily Rabinowitz of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School, Old Bethpage, NY; Nicole Wildstein of Jericho High School, Jericho, NY; and Julie Zeitoun of Jericho High School, Jericho, NY. Exhibit dates are: in New York City, from January 24 to March 7 at The Lobby Gallery, 430 Park Avenue (between 55th and 56th Streets). There will be an opening reception on Tuesday January 24. The show then continues to Long Island's Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, where it will be presented in the Tilles Center Atrium on Thursday March 8 to Thursday March 22. There will be a closing reception there on Thursday March 22. Usdan's Portfolio Preparation Track combines rigorous development of technique and on-site explorations of art history with advice from some of the most prestigious art colleges in the country. This selective program offers dedicated art students an intensive seven-week course designed to build their skills and encourage their vision. The result is a stronger portfolio as students prepare for college and beyond. This exhibit showcases the results of their efforts. The program is taught by Derek Mainhart, an art teacher at Long Island colleges including Molloy, Hofstra, and Boricua. He has been a member of Usdan Center's art faculty for seven years. Rochelle Morgan, Chair of Usdan's Visual Arts Department, worked with Mainhart to develop the Portfolio Preparation Track. Morgan teaches art at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School. Usdan Center (www.usdan.com) is the nationally renowned summer arts day camp chosen for each of the past several years as a "Best Class or Camp" by TimeOutNY Magazine. Now entering its 45th season. Usdan is situated on a 200-acre woodland campus in the Huntington area of Long Island and is annually attended by more than 1500 children ages 6 to 18 from New York City and throughout the Tri-State Area. Featuring more than 40 programs in music, dance, theater, visual arts, creative writing, nature and ecology and chess, Usdan Center has introduced the arts to more than 50,000 children, ages 6-18. Most programs are open to all, with no audition required, and about one-third of students attend on scholarship. Usdan alumni also include jazz singer Jane Monheit and members of major music (Boston Pops, San Francisco Philharmonic) and dance (New York City Ballet) ensembles. Usdan Center is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York. Tilles Center, Long Island's premier concert hall, has long hosted exhibits in its public spaces by faculty and students of the C.W. Post Art Dept., students from local schools, and professional artists. In the spring of 2011 it hosted Self-Defining Mediums, the show by students in Usdan's Honors Art Intensive. Usdan Center is currently hosting several Open Houses for its 2012 season. Upcoming events include Open Houses on Sundays, January 22, March 18, April 22 and May 20, and Wednesday February 22. Each Open House is from 11 AM to 2 PM. For information, call (212) 772-6060 or (631) 643-7900, write to openhouse@usdan.com, or visit www.usdan.com. ###

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