PHOTO: Calendar winner JJ Bifulco with mural
Middletown, N.J. – In honor of the 350th Anniversary of Middletown, students from twelve Middletown elementary schools reproduced their artwork from the annual “My Middletown School Year Calendar Project” on 4’ x 4’ mural panels, currently displayed at the Middletown Arts Center (MAC), located at 36 Church Street in Middletown, N.J. The mural panels have been on display since the Middletown 350 Parade on June 21, 2014 and will be relocated for display to Croydon Hall for Middletown Day on September 27, 2014.
The “My Middletown School Year Calendar Project” was started in 2010 by Linda Kish, who serves on the Board of Trustees of the Middletown Township Cultural and Arts Council. Participating Middletown elementary schools include Middletown Village, Harmony, Lincroft, Leonardo, New Monmouth, Ocean Avenue, Navesink, Fairview, Bayview, Nutswamp, Port Monmouth and River Plaza Elementary Schools. The students work with their art teachers to create artwork of places around Middletown Township. Each elementary school teacher presents the project to the fourth and fifth grade students and several entries are selected. The selected entries are then forwarded to the Middletown Arts Center, which makes the final selection of art featured in the calendar.
PHOTO: Calendar winner Sabrina Mendez and two teachers with mural
This year’s calendar design was created by the Middletown High School North Graphic Design Class with instructor Dorothy Bagley. The Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council produces the calendar each year and they are posted up at Middletown schools and throughout Middletown Township.
The Calendar Project would not be possible without the work of art teachers Diane Bajor, Sharon Stafflinger, Mary Henderson, Lisa Montibello, Laurie O’Keefe, and Doreen Georgiou. Principals Kathy Sidoti and Karen Zupancic were instrumental in coordinating the multiple aspects of the project including the painting of the panels. Mrs. Sidoti and Mrs. Zupancic served as liaisons between the art teachers, students, PTAs, the Arts Center and the Township. We even had the participation of the parents who were brave enough to come trace their children’s drawings onto the aluminum surfaces. Other students also pitched in to help with the painting.
“The Calendar Project is a great collaboration between the Middletown Public Schools and the Arts Council,” said Maggie O’Brien, Executive Director of the Middletown Arts Center. “We really enjoy partnering with the schools on enriching arts programs and experiences. This year’s Calendar Project was extra-special because of our 350 Celebration and the creation of the beautiful murals. I love seeing the student’s creativity. The pictures they draw capture all that is special about Middletown. I wish we could use all of the artwork created. It gives us a very special and unique view of our township.”
PHOTO: Calendar winners (from left to right): Sabrina Mendez, Victoria Povall, Chloe Zenker, Georgia T., Volunteer – unsure of name, Peyton Le Bourveau, JJ Bifulco, Richard Ens
A reception was held earlier this month at the Middletown Arts Center to honor the young artists and showcase their artwork to the general public. Calendar posters will be available to the public free of charge after the reception. Call 732-706-4100 for more information.