One New Jersey Assemblyman has turned his local office into an art gallery to showcase the work of the local students he represents.
Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset) is showcasing 14 art work pieces by 13 Princeton High School students in his district’s Hillsborough office at 390 Amwell Road as a part of his Art Recognition Program.
“The Art Recognition program is just really fantastic because we are really trying to celebrate the arts and recognize the arts. We want our children to be successful and we want them to exceed and be innovative,” Freiman said. “There is a correlation between the arts and academic performance and we should celebrate it and encourage it.”
He revealed that he was quite impressed by the student’s work.
“I cannot draw or do anything, I have no artistic talent what so ever. I am just in awe. This is the fifth time we have done a show like this where we showcase art work from students of different schools,” Freiman said. “We are also setting up a scholarship behind this as well. Everyone’s reaction is amazing they are just so blown away. I did not just want photos of me shaking hands with constituents hanging in the office that is typically of a local office. I wanted some beauty and art. We have that with these students.”
Freiman also announced that he will offer two $250 scholarships to senior students graduating each of the high schools whose student’s work was represented at the office.
“They will be offered to students who are continuing arts education in college,” according to Freiman.
Since December of 2018, Freiman has been displaying artwork of local students from schools in New Jersey’s 16th Legislative District that include Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Princeton High School, Manville High School and Hillsborough High School.
“The students are all going to get Assembly Resolutions that is significant. We want people to see the art and I have asked the artists to explain their work so I could learn a little more about it,” he said.
The student’s art varied in different art mediums. The mediums include paintings, printmaking, watercolor, ceramic and 3D art pieces, according to Rachel Frish, Director of Community Affairs for Assemblyman Roy Freiman.
The artwork displayed has been selected by each school’s art department head.
“We want our students to excel in the sciences and technology. Art goes hand in hand with it. I want people who view the art to really appreciate it. This art really makes you feel good,” he said.
Senator Kip Bateman (R- Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset) was also in attendance to help honor the students from Princeton High School at the evening event with the artists and their parents.
“I am happy to be here to recognize the talent of the Princeton. We are so fortunate that we have so many talented students,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for these students to show off their talent. Looking at the artwork it is just fantastic. I am excited to meet all the artists and present resolutions with Roy.”
He said the student’s artwork is something positive for the community and the state.
“I wish I had the talent that these young individuals have. The arts are so important,” Bateman said. “We try to get increased funding for the arts each year. We want to support and encourage the students who participate in the arts.”
Pat Lenihan, Supervisor of the Arts for the Princeton Public School District, said it was great that the Assemblyman recognizes and supports art education.
“This is an opportunity for our students to shine. We have students who are freshman to seniors who are here showcasing their work,” he said. “They are incredible talents and the efforts they put forth to communicating ideas and messages through their artwork is amazing.”
Lenihan said the variety of art mediums that were created allows the students to express themselves in different ways.
“I am so proud of the students who have produced the artwork present today. They are just remarkable,” he said.
This is the fifth show at Freiman’s office and will be the last one for the 2018-19 school year, as the students will need to have their artwork for Finals and end of the year art shows at each school, according to Frish.