By Meghan McCaffery CONTRIBUTING WRITER
---- — More than 75 people attended the mosaic reception at Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School on Friday.
The students and staff welcomed guest artist Josh Winer, an expert mosaic artist from Boston, for two weeks to complete three mosaics, one for each column in the entryway at CVSCS.
Winer is an accomplished teacher who works with students around the world, according to Dick Rose, the former interim CV-S superintendent.
Hundreds of students were involved in assembling the mosaics, said Terri Adams, CV-S art teacher whose senior Advanced Placement students worked as a group on the project with the rest of the student body. In order to finish the mosaics within the two-week time frame, Adams said she needed as many willing students to help as possible.
“We tried to open the room to anybody and everybody,” she said.
The majority of the students who helped with the project were in sixth through 12th, though some elementary students offered their assistance after school, Adams said.
The project was a collaborative effort between staff, students, community members and Winer.
“It was good to see the community coming together,” said Kevin Keane, secondary principal.
“It’s good to see the arts alive and well in the community,” he continued.
Lauren Loucks, a senior and student in the AP class, said there were students in the art room working on the project during every class period.
“The best part for me was working with students from all of the grades,” Loucks said.
She said she enjoyed sharing a common goal with students of varying ages.
Many of the high-school-aged students said that the project would not have been possible without the help and guidance from Adams.
“She has been a real inspiration to me and the rest of our class,” said senior Olivia Porter.
“(She) does a great job of creating a sense of belonging in her classroom,” Keane said.
Keane said he is not an artist, but he still helped with the project a few times, and both Adams and Winer made him feel comfortable.
“Mrs. Adams made such an extensive and welcoming arts program in this school,” said senior Frances Bukovsky. “She really pulled the project together.”
Adams said the project was motivated and driven by the students, and she is very pleased by their hard work.
“I can’t let tonight pass without telling the students I am so proud of them,” Adams said.
Bukovsky was also an integral member of the design team.
“It was a collaboration between the AP art class, myself and Mrs. Adams,” Bukovsky said.
The first column that is visible upon entering the school features a patriot, the school mascot, with an American flag. The second column displays the history of the area, featuring a Native American and a drum. The third column highlights the local landscape at sunset.
“We have a beautiful work of art to welcome people as they enter our school,” Rose said.
Bukovsky said the project was very meaningful to her as she plans to go into the art field after college.
“I learned how to express ideas and to go through and complete a project,” Bukovsky said.
Overall, she said she is very proud of the collaboration between students to complete the project.
“Before the project there wasn’t as much community in the school,” Bukovsky said. “It was great to see all the students working together.”
Superintendent Tim Ryan said there are plans to work with Winer again next year on a different project. He said he hopes to have a guest artist every year.
“I hope that there is enough support to continue projects like this because I really feel they are beneficial for the community,” Bukovsky said.
The Chenango Arts Council, the Cherry Valley-Springfield Board of Education, NBT Bank, the CV-S Leadership Foundation and NYS Arts in Education funded the project.
The reception was followed by a play "Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World" by Kerry Kennedy.
Before the play began Ryan said: “It’s a very impressive and moving piece that you’re about to see.”
The play’s purpose was to put a spotlight on the people whose names and stories have gone untold, but who fought for freedom in America.