Last Thursday, May 17th, was the 10th Annual RSS Arts Festival. The community-wide celebration showcased our Kindergarten through 8th Grade students’ many and varied accomplishments in the visual, digital, and performing arts.
The walls of 79th Street were transformed into galleries that featured a vibrant and eclectic collection of works including paintings, mixed media collages, weavings, and handmade paper. Classrooms, the Middle School Lobby, the Art Rooms, and even window ledges displayed three-dimensional works ranging from clay animals and 3D printed mezuzahs, to the Light Tableau Project, 3D printed buildings with a light inside to illuminate a dark room, and oversized paper maché letters that spelled out, among other messages, “Peace on Earth.” Visitors could also watch short films, listen to podcasts and poems, and play student made video games.There was even an opportunity for visitors to get in on the art: everyone was encouraged to add colorful dots to all white walls in an interactive exhibit inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room. The evening’s “Art Guide” program listed all the works on display, allowing visitors to take in the art at their leisure. Student docents were also on hand to provide tours and and answer questions.
The live performance component of the evening included: concerts by the RSS bands and ensembles, a special performance by the Indian Dance Club, drama scenes and improvisation by the 8th Grade Drama Class, and a standing-room-only Circus performance by the 7th Grade.
It was a night of beauty, music, and inspiration. For the 10th year, the RSS Arts Festival shone a spotlight on the value placed on arts education at RSS, as well as the range of artistic pursuits offered to our students. Our community came together to kvell over our children’s hard work and creativity. In doing so, we encouraged them all to continue pursuing their individual artistic interests and to become creators, performers, and supporters of the arts.