An Introduction into the Art World


Photo by Mr. Frizalone

A visiting artist visits students at PMHS.

Many parents tell their kids that they cannot make a career out of art, but some people, such as Mr. Frizalone, an art teacher at Patchogue Medford High School, care to disagree. Mr. Frizalone claims that “art is not just making pictures, art is in everything you watch, you buy, everything” and he decided to show his students this. During this school year, Mr. Frizalone instructed students in his Studio in Art classes and his Drawing and Painting classes on different techniques of creating art and with different mediums.\

Towards the end of the school year Mr. Frizalone introduced his students to printmaking, but he took a slightly different approach the most art teachers. It first started at the end of March when Mr. Frizalone invited his friend, Dan Welden, in to teach some of his students about print making. Dan Welden is a famous print maker that developed a form a print making called a solar plate. During Dan Welden’s visit, he showed students how to use a solar plate and discussed his life as an artist. Many students enjoyed this experience.

Justin Rosenthal, a freshman in Drawing and Painting, says meeting Dan Welden was “a whole other experience” and the experience helped him “understand more about options there are for art careers.” At the end of this experience, students created prints using Welden’s solar plate method and were able to view some of his artwork. Mr. Frizalone invited Dan Welden because “it is important for kids to actually meet an artist who not only sells and produces art but produces it at such a large volume and quality like Dan does.” Mr. Frizalone carried out his goal of introducing art as a career in this fun activity with Dan Welden, but he did not stop there.

In June, Mr. Frizalone decided to start a project with his students. In this project Mr. Frizalone invited students from his classes to carve a woodcut print of a rhinoceros, giving his students a “once in a lifetime opportunity” since this woodcut will be printed in a museum. This project idea was given to Mr. Frizalone by Dan Welden. Although the drawing on the wood may seem like a regular sketch of a rhinoceros, it is not. The drawing is inspired by Albrecht Dürer woodcut. Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut illustrates a rhinoceros’ profile, but it is made without the artist ever seeing a rhinoceros. Dürer made this piece by only hearing the description on a rhinoceros. Mr. Frizalone decided to take this depiction of a rhinoceros and draw out the front view of the rhinoceros. After this sketch was drawn on a large piece of wood, Mr. Frizalone had his students help him carve this woodcut and will give every student who worked on it credit for it when it is placed in the museum.

Jimena Gonzalez, and freshman in Studio in Art, says that this project taught her patience and how art is “something that you can really express” without having to write it or speak it. All the work Mr. Frizalone and his students put into this project will be shown on July 10th in the Hecksher Museum. Many students enjoyed finishing off this school year with a big project such as this and being able to tell others that they have printed a piece of artwork in a museum. The overall effect on the students was that this introduced how some artists have others help them with a large piece of artwork and created a larger interest in art.

These activities that Mr. Frizalone’s students were able to experience are nothing like many art students get to experience or even artists at this age, making this really a once in a lifetime experience. If any students are interested in doing anything like this, Mr. Frizalone plans to try to do similar things with his future classes.