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Art Students FALLing into the Homecoming Season

PMHS art students, along with middle school students, spent Friday painting the windows along Main Street in Patchogue.

PMHS+art+students+painted+seasonal+decor+on+storefront+windows+along+Main++Street+in+Patchogue.
PMHS art students painted seasonal decor on storefront windows along Main  Street in Patchogue.

PMHS art students painted seasonal decor on storefront windows along Main Street in Patchogue.

Photo by Nicole Niemiec

Photo by Nicole Niemiec

PMHS art students painted seasonal decor on storefront windows along Main Street in Patchogue.

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When a community comes together and uses the power of art as an expression, the results are astonishing. Not only does art provoke a more creative side of an individual but it also captivates the attention of others. On October 7th, 2017, the Patchogue-Medford High School AP Studio Art and Portfolio class and the South Ocean Middle School Studio Art class teamed up for Art on Main Street. The two art classes designed and painted windows to be showcased during Patchogue-Medford’s Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 21st. This is the first time that the art department of Patchogue-Medford has done something like this, and both students and teachers were honored to be able to be a part of something so exciting.

The idea came about from a conversation between past Board of Education member, Ms. Bunnie Schiller, and the Director of Art, Music, and Cultural Arts, Mr. Mark Stuckey. They were inspired by Sayville’s annual painted store front windows on Main Street. In the neighbouring town, Sayville School District art students come together to paint the store windows of main street for Halloween. It didn’t take long for Ms. Schiller and Mr. Stuckey to decide that this was something they wanted to bring to their community. When asked about the origin of the idea. Mr. Stuckey commented, “We didn’t want to take everything from Sayville. We wanted to have our own theme. So we said, we’re going to do homecoming.” With homecoming approaching, it’s a start to bringing together the community. On the topic of homecoming, Lindsey Decatrel, a senior at the high school, expanded, “Homecoming is a way to unify everyone within our district. It’s so special to be a part of something like this.” Not only would students be painting the windows, but they’d be getting into the spirit of homecoming with images of pumpkins, PM logos, footballs, leaves, and various other fall items.

After attending a Chamber of Commerce meeting in the summer and getting the district teachers on board, Mr. Stuckey was granted approval and became one step closer to bringing his and Ms. Schiller’s idea to life. They began handing out flyers to every business in Patchogue from the Four Corners down to Rider Avenue. They wanted businesses to understand what would happen as sometimes businesses shy away from the idea of student artists painting on their property. Fortunately, thirteen businesses agreed and Mr. Stuckey began investigating where these windows were located and how they looked, and mapped it all out to get a good picture of how to bring their middle school students and high school students together.

By bridging the gap between middle school and high school students, the middle school students are able to see what the high school is all about. Mr. Stuckey wanted to take the opportunity to showcase the high school art department to the middle schoolers. “We want them to have a first-hand experience,” he expressed, “Our high school art courses are great courses and we want them to continue. It’s a great way to give them some information.” Patchogue-Medford has over twenty different courses within the art department, four of which are at AP level. Diana Princi, a senior at the high school, commented, “It’s such a great way to come together, especially with the various middle schools. I hope it becomes tradition.”

“I really enjoyed painting out in the open, outside of a classroom setting. It was exciting to be able to contribute to the Patchogue-Medford art community and collaborate with students in a new way.”

— Madelyn Arevalo

Mr. Gary Lester, Patchogue-Medford High School art instructor, and Ms. Sandra Albert-Cassera, South Ocean Middle School art instructor, could be seen with smiles on their faces the whole time, helping their students with materials and design ideas. Students were enjoying the day painting out in the sun and collaborating with their fellow peers. When asked about her favorite part of the event, Madelyn Arevalo, a senior at the high school, reflected, “I really enjoyed painting out in the open, outside of a classroom setting. It was exciting to be able to contribute to the Patchogue-Medford art community and collaborate with students in a new way.”

Throughout the day, many Patchogue residents stopped to see what was going on and watched the art students paint various fall and homecoming themed windows. “I’ve already talked to the some of the owners of the windows, and they love it,” Mr. Stuckey explained, “Some are coming to me, asking if they can get their windows painted.” His goal is to be able to get all of the windows on Main Street painted, and seeing the reactions from fellow community businesses, it may be possible in the near future. “It’s a great way to give back to the community,” Mr. Stuckey added, “There’s so many negatives things going on in the world today and it’s nice to hear positive stories. This is nice and it’s a great way to showcase our talented students. People are going to know that this is what Patchogue-Medford is all about. And I’m excited about it.” Patchogue residents and visitors will be able to see student artwork during their strolls and drives down Main Street.

Homecoming is a big event within the Patchogue-Medford community and it’s not just about football, the parade, or the artwork on the windows. It’s a way to show school spirit and share love for the Patchogue-Medford community as a whole. The designed windows on Main Street will be on display until October 21st, Homecoming Day.

PMHS art students painted seasonal decor on storefront windows along Main Street in Patchogue.

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Art Students FALLing into the Homecoming Season