Middle school students have long had the unique opportunity of viewing high school art work as they walk past the art galleries in the showcases near the auditorium. Now, rather than just viewing and admiring the work, middle school art students are participating in “Art Talks,” which provide an opportunity to hear the high school artists describe the creative process, inspiration, and techniques behind these advanced pieces.

Twice each month, a student from the high school’s IB Visual Arts class leads an “Art Talk” in front of the showcase displaying his or her paintings, drawings, photographs, and sketches. Middle school art classes gather in front of the showcases and listen to the high school artists explain how each piece was created. Middle school students learn that the creations are often the result of research into a time period, person, geographical location, or artistic style.

Robert Buonaspina, the District’s IB Coordinator said the progam is intended to showcase the tremendous amount of effort and talent from the juniors and seniors enrolled in the two year IB Visual Arts courses. Mr. Buonaspina, who initiated the Art Talks, said the program is beneficial in many ways.  "It important for our Middle School students to see and learn from the High School students about their experiences and artistic influences as they begin the process of becoming proficient in the arts".

Donna Chaplin, a Locust Valley Middle School/High School art teacher said her middle school classes benefit greatly from the Art Talks. “I am always looking for opportunities for students to look at and talk about art,” she said. Ms. Chaplin gave her class a critique form to fill out while viewing the student exhibit, which the class then discussed together the next day. “It’s a great way to work on art terminology while getting comfortable describing and interpreting works.”

High School senior Jaime Jaget, who led the first of the scheduled Art Talks said that she felt a sense of pride knowing the middle school students were getting something out of her presentation. “I really wanted to inspire them by opening their minds to art and its process because it is such an expressive activity,” Jaime said.