Creative connections: Greenwich’s Whitby holds All School Virtual Art Show

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Whitby holds All School Virtual Art Show

Despite all the complications of teaching in a global pandemic, canceling the annual Whitby All School Art Show was never a possibility.

“There was never a thought of not having an art show this year,” said Amy Budzelek, middle school art teacher at Whitby School. “There’s always a huge surge of student creativity for the art show, primarily because they know they’re being seen and heard. This year, the art show was more important than ever before, in those aspects.”


Assuring students that they’re “being seen” in today’s environment, she said, is a priority for the Whitby faculty, who have been separated from their students since mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the school to close and students to learn from a distance.



“I make sure that I recognize every student by name for every class that I teach virtually, as I feel it’s essential to maintain a close relationship with my students, especially in these days of social distancing,” Budzelek said. “To be able to see your inner self on a paper, or on the internet, can be powerful. Students feel seen, they feel important. Art prompts connections and conversations.”


Pamela Chapman, the lower school art teacher and primary team leader, teamed with Budzelek to produce the art show.

“The arts are such an important part of education, and at Whitby, all students participate in the visual arts as early as 18 months in our Montessori program to Grade 8,” she said. “Students can experiment and make mistakes because there are no absolute rights or wrongs. Some mistakes are even better, as it helps me teach how to deal with the frustration of making mistakes.”


While they both use a combination of video instruction and virtual feedback, “the video instruction is not like a YouTube tutorial, it doesn’t matter what art material is being used, the messages we send in our feedback is the most important factor,” said Budzelek. “The skills will come; it’s all about encouraging creative thinking.”

Chapman added, “Art is a safe place for our students, and I let them choose what they would like to exhibit.”

Typically, the art show is a public, in-person event. With the virtual show, students can share their artwork with extended family and friends.


All students at Whitby take part in the show along with some faculty. A unique addition to this year’s show is the Alumni Gallery, including the work of 23 alumni.

Viewers are invited to draw connections and see themes in the artwork. To view the art show, visit whitbyartshow2020.weebly.com/.

Located in Greenwich, Whitby is a co-educational independent school for children ages 18 months through Grade 8. Whitby offers a Montessori curriculum and International Baccalaureate programs in Grades 1-8. For more information on the school, visit www.whitbyschool.org/.

Purchase College names local students to Dean’s List

Purchase College announced that more than 1,500 students were named to the Dean’s List for the spring semester, including five from town.

The honored local students are Michelle Cavalieri of Riverside; Kelsey Donovan of Old Greenwich; and Peter Grinnell, Ryder Iwata and Natacha Sburlati, all of Greenwich.

Students who have earned this academic honor have maintained a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher in BA and BS programs or a semester GPA of 3.75 in BFA and MusB programs.

Purchase College in Purchase, N.Y., is part of the State University of New York network of 64 universities and colleges.

Local students graduate from UW-Madison

Nearly 8,500 students received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison during an online commencement ceremony on May 9, including four students from Greenwich.

The ceremony, forced online because of the Coronavirus pandemic, featured best-selling author James Patterson as the commencement speaker. He counseled graduates on persistence and resilience, telling them, “Hey, it’s hard now, but it’s been hard before. When I graduated from college, the war in Vietnam was raging, there was a draft. … When my dad graduated, he got shipped off to Europe and WWII.”

The local graduates are Cara Cahn, who earned a bachelor of arts in communication arts from the College of Letters and Science; Natalia Hartwell, who earned a master’s degree in accountancy from the School of Business and Kate Palastro, who earned a bachelor of arts in zoology from the College of Letters and Science.

Students named to Dean’s List at Bates

The following local students have been named to the Dean’s List at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, for the winter semester ending in April 2020. This is a distinction earned by students whose cumulative grade point average is 3.8 or higher.

The honored students are: Meg Robinson, who is majoring in biological chemistry and minoring in Spanish, and Samantha Schecter, who is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in women and gender studies, both of Riverside; Emily Bass, who is majoring in politics and minoring in education and philosophy and Ellie Garnett, who is majoring in psychology and minoring in history, both of Old Greenwich; and Caela LaPointe of Greenwich.

Connecticut Ceramics Circle sets online calendar for 2020-21

The Connecticut Ceramics Circle, formerly the Connecticut Ceramics Study Circle, has released its schedule for the 2020-21 season.

Lectures are to be held remotely on Zoom and will be free to members. Nonmembers may purchase a ticket for the live Zoom or for the recorded lecture on the CCC website.

Whether a new enthusiast of the field or an advanced collector, you will find opportunities to learn through the CCC, a singular regional resource in the field of ceramic arts.

Visit cceramics.org for additional information and a complete schedule of lectures. Follow the group @connecticutceramicscircle on Facebook.


Do you have news to announce about a recent wedding, engagement, anniversary, birth, graduation or more? Share the good news with the readers of Greenwich Time by sending an email to detailing the event to gtcitydesk@ hearstmediact.com.



www.greenwichtime.com2020-08-09 09:00:00

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