Students Develop their Inner Artist with the National Academy Museum & School

Fourth grader Raven W. learns various drawing and painting techniques under the instruction of award-winning National Academy faculty member Hannah Frassinelli.

May 15, 2015

Ask an MCHR student what his or her favorite subject is, and the odds are fairly good that the answer will very enthusiastically be, “Art!”  Under the guidance of art teacher Melanie Ende, students learn to express themselves through drawing, painting, mixed media, and more during weekly art classes. They find freedom in the message that in art class, there is no such thing as a mistake.  For the first time this year, ten students who have demonstrated a particular interest and talent in their art classes took their potential beyond the classroom through a special new partnership that MCHR has established with the storied National Academy Museum and School’s Young Artist Program. 

Located on the Upper East Side, the National Academy School selected MCHR to be its first partner school as part of a new initiative to broaden access to its Young Artist Program, which provides small-group instruction to budding artists ages 6 to 13.  Thanks to the support of a generous donor motivated by her late husband’s passion for art education, the ten participating students were awarded full scholarships for art and portfolio development lessons at the National Academy School.  Ranging from Grades 4-7, each student spent the spring studying under the instruction of a  National Academy working artist and faculty member.  In order to apply for the program, students submitted a small portfolio with samples of their artwork, as well as personal statements explaining their interest in art.  “I wanted the opportunity to improve the way I paint and draw,” shares fourth grader Tamara W. of her decision to apply for the program. “My family was really proud of me, because I worked hard to apply for it.” 

After sixteen weeks of art lessons at the National Academy School, the students’ passion for art is more pronounced than ever.  At the end of the program, students submitted their finest pieces to be featured in the National Academy School’s fourth annual Creative Mischief exhibition—a showcase for faculty’s and students’ latest work, representing the broad spectrum of creative disciplines taught and studied at the school.  “It felt really amazing to be a part of an art exhibit, because there are not many people who get to do that,” reflects fifth grader Jabari H. “After seeing the architecture exhibit, I am thinking about becoming an architectural artist.”