These Elmhurst students are crafting amazing works of art that are getting the attention of major museums

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Izzo

Children at an Elmhurst elementary school are excelling in art, and they’re getting the attention of some of New York City’s finest museums.

For years, fourth- and fifth-graders from the 51st Avenue Academy at 76-05 51st Ave. have produced award-winning works of art, and this year was no different. Kathleen Izzo, an art teacher at the public school, has praised the work that her students and others have created.

During the 2017-2018 school year, students from the 51st Avenue Academy were chosen to display their works in establishments across the city and beyond. Some of the institutions where their art can be found include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The 911 Memorial Museum, The Queens Museum, Sotheby’s Auction House in New York City, The Asia Society, The Muskegon Museum of Art, The Rock, The Citywide Council on Special Education and The Lever House.

Izzo said that the students’ art can also be found in online exhibitions.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Izzo - art by Sherry Wang
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Izzo – art by Sherry Wang

Students at The Academy have also won awards in multiple art contests. In March 2018, Saranika Chakraborty won first place in the Missing Children’s Poster Contest. The fifth-grader won a $100 gift card in the statewide competition for her poster that brought awareness to the missing children in the United States.

Chakraborty’s poster depicts a crying boy who is shown drawing a picture of his family. Next to the boy is a small picture of a family superimposed over a heart with the words “family is forever” written underneath.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Izzo
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Izzo – art by Saranika Chakraborty

In May, Chakraborty teamed up with fellow student Samiha Amhed to become one of 10 finalists in the Disability Pride Visual Art Contest. The citywide contest was opened to all DOE students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Other students who won awards during the current school year include Yoselyn Xique, who was the winner of the 2018 Queens Borough Arts Festival in May. Most recently, Sherry Wang and Anna Zheng, were the winners the P.S. Art Semi-Finals this month.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Izzo - art by Anna Zheng, 5th Grade.
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Izzo – art by Anna Zheng

Izzo added that the school was able to get a 9-foot by 12-foot quilt and 26-minute DVD that honored those who died in 9/11 added to the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan.

“It took 11 years from the quilt’s inception to get it into the very ground where this atrocity took place. Two months after the quilt and movie became permanent artifacts of the museum it was sent to be displayed at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Chicago,” Izzo said.

In addition to accomplishments in the arts, the Elmhurst school’s drama team had the opportunity to perform at the Colten Auditorium at Queens College and their chess club won first place in the K-5 Chess in the Schools Tournament.

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