BURNT HILLS — This past Friday was a day of celebration for The Charlton School. As music students practiced under the pavilion for their Juneteenth celebration, art students received awards from Saratoga Springs Mayor, Meg Kelly.
On Friday, June 18, seven high school students at The Charlton School received the first ever Legislative Artistic Awards. Mayor Meg Kelly and Mary Jo Bradley, Art Educator at The Charlton School, collaborated to choose the recipients who were being awarded for their contribution to the community through their art.
The Legislative Artistic Award recipients were: Kieara Pierrot-Mastaitis, Anna Wickiser, Cadence Love, Zoe Cordero, Maya Clapp, Natalie Biganini, and Sage Alling.
Each student painted a landscape scene using acrylic paint with a palette knife and/or brushes. Their artwork is currently on display in the Mayor’s Office and will be for the next three months.
“I can’t tell you how many people have come into my office and complimented the artwork,” said Mayor Kelly. “The talent that has come out of The Charlton School is amazing.”
The Charlton School is a residential therapeutic school, and so the awards ceremony was livestreamed for the student’s parents. Bradley says she has seen elevated joy and confidence in the students who were recognized for their art, and she was happy that their parents could virtually attend the ceremony to show their support as well.
“Each piece was a process,” said Bradley. “But, each piece is also a masterpiece.”
Zoe Cordero, one of the award recipients, painted a cherry blossom landscape that is among the collection in the Mayor’s Office.
“It wasn’t an easy piece for me, but it was something I worked really hard on. I learned a lot about color matching and used different techniques in each corner of the painting,” said Cordero.
Mayor Kelly has been working with The Charlton School for a year and half already, helping students get internships and part-time work. Although Mayor Kelly will not be running for office next year, the awards will be ongoing. Before her term ends, she is hoping to get more of the student’s artwork displayed around the city; commenting that Saratoga Springs is an
“Art is about communication,” said Mayor Kelly. “Art changes lives.”