Past students and teachers show off their skills at the Annual Alumni Art show


Cecilia Kolenich

Calling all artists — Artwork on display at Tunxis Community College attracts an audience. The show began January 28 and continued through mid-February.

Cecilia Kolenich, Broadcast and Media Coordinator

Every year, the high school hosts a faculty and alumni art exhibit with the help of Tunxis Community College. This year, the show was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the area, from its original date of Friday, January 7, to a later date of Friday, January 28. Tunxis made the decision to postpone after many colleges in Connecticut ruled that their students should not return to in-person learning
for the time being. The show has been held at Tunxis for the past five years, although it has been held in different locations in the past.

“The Franklin Barney Gallery at Tunxis Community College is a beautiful gallery space with a friendly and helpful Gallery Director named Arthur Simoes. Tunxis has partnered with the Farmington Art Department in permitting us to use their space for grant programming and this is another way we build community partnerships,” said the Department Leader of the Fine and Applied Arts, Andrew Minor.

The gallery was organized by Minor and several volunteers from the Farmington Public Schools community. Although the exhibit was delayed, it ran longer this year and showcased work from a diverse group of artists. A wide variety of pieces were displayed, including paintings, sketches, cyanotype prints, woodblock prints, sculptures, works of pottery and resin, stuffed animals, and animation. The contents of the artwork differed from piece to piece; some depicting messages about community, body positivity, and mental illness, alongside still life paintings and pastels that portrayed no underlying meaning.

“I encourage all art students when they graduate to participate. We get work from across the country with an amazing diversity. Former art students in this show have gone on to become teachers, professors, work for Nickelodeon, photographers […]. We also have faculty and retired faculty that represent many years of experience, having taught generations of Farmington students,” Minor said.

On opening night, over 30 people attended to observe the artwork. Faculty members brought their young children who enjoyed prepackaged snacks and craft stations, facilitated by volunteers from the National Art Honors Society (NAHS). The volunteers helped children make paper hats, beaded bracelets, and clay sculptures as their parents walked through the nearby display hallway. NAHS also assisted by hanging directional posters at the building entrance to guide viewers to the gallery, and by greeting people as they arrived. One of the students volunteering was senior Salvatore Farrell.

“I sat at a table by the entrance of the art show with Maya [Cosentino]. We greeted people and told them where the […] snacks and activities were for the little kids. We also gave NAHS stickers to the students currently in NAHS, as well as “Future Artist” stickers to the [younger] kids. My favorite part was definitely seeing past students [from] FHS. There were a lot of alumni who I have known personally during my freshman [and] junior year,” said Farrell.

Several students, now pursuing art at a university or outside of their education, attended the show with their families to see their work hanging in the gallery. This annual event brings artistic students around Connecticut together to share what they’ve created with their community.