Recap: The Delaware Charter School Art Show

Over 100 families came out to the first annual Charter School Art Show this past weekend. The Art Show was the brainchild of Odyssey Charter art teacher, Natalia Ciriaco, who called our office early this fall to share her ideas for art teacher collaboration among Delaware’s charter schools. We (the DCSN staff) jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the hard work of our teachers and students. This past Friday, February 28th over 150 pieces of student artwork from 14 schools lined the walls and showcases of the brand new Newark Charter Junior/Senior High School (HUGE thanks to NCS art teacher, Nicole Mathias, and school leader, Greg Meece, for their hospitality!). The featured artists ranged from kindergarteners to high school seniors—which provided for a wide array of unique ideas and abilities. Guests saw computer-generated work from an AP Studio Art class at Charter School of Wilmington, clay models molded by 2nd graders at Kuumba Academy, cave drawings by Odyssey Charter kindergarteners, pointillist paintings by Sussex Academy middle school students, and more.

 Parents, students, teachers, and community members line the halls of Newark Charter High
School to view student art at the Delaware Charter School Art Show.

Students pose with their artwork.


Up and down the showcases, students stood beaming with their parents and teachers, taking pictures, pointing out their work, their friends’ work, and the work of students they had never met.  But students weren’t the only ones exploring new art: one of the most exciting parts of this event, for our office, was that the art teachers were able to start conversations with one another. For many of our art teachers, they are the only ones in their schools teaching their subject. We’ve been a part of so many conversations with our school specialists about the lack of opportunities to collaborate with those who teach the same content. The conversations going on between art teachers on Friday were invaluable. Not only were the teachers able to observe new project ideas, they were able to go directly to the source and ask their fellow teachers, “How did you do this?” “What went well?” “What didn’t go well?” “Would this work with younger students?” “Did it incorporate any academic standards?” “Can you share this lesson plan with me?” We hope the Charter School Art Show is the first of many events where our specialist teachers can get together and share their work. 


Here are just a few of the wonderful pieces on display during the show:








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The evening was accompanied by the beautiful music of two very generous, and very talented, Newark Charter students. A cellist and a violinist volunteered just a few days before the event to perform while people viewed the art. One parent was overheard saying, “Man! They really classed this night up! Now all we need is the wine and the Brie cheese!”    


Newark Charter students entertain guests on the violin and cello.


We capped off the night with a “Fun-Raising” Event at Friendly’s on South College Avenue in Newark. Friendly’s donated 10% of their profits from 4pm-10pm on Friday to our charter school art rooms. Thank you to all who stopped by to help raise money for our schools—and a special thanks to Friendly’s for their generous support!



Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our guests on Friday night. We hope you enjoyed the Art Show. Thank you to our wonderful art teachers from Odyssey Charter, Newark Charter, Sussex Academy, Campus Community School, Charter School of Wilmington, MOT Charter School, Thomas Edison Charter School, EastSide Charter School, Reach Academy, Kuumba Academy, Family Foundations Academy, Las America ASPIRA Academy, Gateway Lab School, and Providence Creek Academy. Thank you to our hard working and talented students artists. Last, but most certainly not least, thank you to Natalia Ciriaco at Odyssey Charter for coming to us with this wonderful idea, and for spearheading this whole event!


Rebecca Roosma (left) and event organizer, Natalia Ciriaco (right) of Odyssey
Charter School pose with their students' group project--a mosaic made from
beads, stones, cracked cds, bottle caps, seashells, and sequins.