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'Artists and Mentors': Teacher Claire Lerner shows paintings in New York
'Artists and Mentors': Teacher Claire Lerner shows paintings in New York

Visual arts chair Claire Lerner was among 12 art educators whose work was presented in a New York art show in September.

The exhibition, Artists and Mentors, shined a "well-deserved spotlight on the talented practicing artists who are also teaching and inspiring their young students in the classroom."

The show featured paintings by artists who participated in a two-week residency program for teachers whose students win awards in the annual Scholastic Art & Writing contest. Out of hundreds of applicants, just three are selected for the residency each year. Lerner attended in the summer of 2015.

"It was a tremendous honor to be included in this exhibition," Lerner said. "Meeting and spending time with the other high school teachers was an enriching experience. We were all filled with gratitude and were quite overwhelmed by the opportunity presented to us to exhibit our work in a Chelsea gallery in New York City."

In the Artists and Mentors program, Mark Golden, CEO of residency sponsor Golden Artist Colors, explained the benefits of having working artists as teachers. "What is exceptionally clear is that art teachers with a continuing artistic practice inspire students to achieve well beyond what the typical art student is able to accomplish," he wrote.

The exhibit was held at The Painting Center and was presented by Golden Artist Colors and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which holds the Scholastic awards.

The exhibit wasn't the only exciting opportunity for Lerner this year. In the summer, she taught visual arts in a study abroad program in Spoleto, Italy. The three-week program offers hands-on studies in the arts and humanities for high school students. "Faculty and students participated in field trips twice a week to the surrounding cities, including Sienna, Florence, and Assisi," she said. "It was all amazing, not to mention living in a hilltop medieval city (complete with castle) without tourists."

Because of the experience, Lerner was inspired to expose her Catalina students to the wonders of doing art outdoors. Within the first two weeks, they were in the beautiful Hacienda courtyard, using clear panels to "trace" architectural features.

Claire Lerner and art student in Hacienda courtyard

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