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Art in the Valley: Goodbyes, Welcomes, and Moving Forward

Best wishes to Lorna Pezanelli, who is retiring from Blackstone Valley Education Foundation as Art in the Valley Coordinator. Lorna has overseen Art in the Valley for the past fourteen years and will be greatly missed for her creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication. BVEF welcomes Ashley MacLure, who is stepping in as Coordinator. Ashley has spent seven years as an art educator building rigorous and relevant course curriculum and extracurricular activities for Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School. Ashley received the Promising Practice in Teaching Award in 2019 and her artwork has been published by the Associated Press.

What is Art in the Valley?

Art in the Valley is an art show open to K-8 art teachers from BVEF member schools. For the past fourteen years, art teachers have selected student projects to showcase their art curriculum at a live exhibition. Approximately 400 students typically take part and well over 1,000 parents, friends, and community members attend the show each year. Art in the Valley supports a continued sense of community for teachers, students, and families, as well as an appreciation of art and culture by showcasing art curriculum and highlighting necessary skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and inventiveness that help to shape future careers.

Changes This Year Due to the Pandemic

This year’s show will look different due to the current pandemic. Art teachers from thirteen BVEF member school districts will submit student artwork images. These images will be used to create a gallery on the BVEF website as a safe in-person art show alternative for students and their families, educators, and community members. This virtual gallery will open for viewing April 16, 2021 and will remain on the site throughout the year. An invitation to attend will be sent to schools and the schools will forward that information onto the families.

BVEF recognizes that this has been a challenging year for everyone, especially teachers and students. We applaud the art teachers from our member schools for viewing this year’s show as a positive outlet for their students and working with BVEF to give these talented young individuals something to look forward to and be proud of this year!

Thank You to our Sponsors!

BVEF would like to thank The Osterman Family Foundation for being our major Art in the Valley Sponsor this year! Other sponsors include The Mass Cultural Council and individual town Cultural Councils including Auburn, Charlton, Mendon, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Oxford, Sutton, and Upton. BVEF appreciates their generosity as it is only with community and local business support that we are able to continue to offer enriching educational programs, like Art in the Valley, to our member school districts.

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