N. Berkshire Invitational Art Exhibit by teens soon on view at Mass MoCA

Far from a sedate art opening but a lot more fun.

Far from a sedate art opening but a lot more fun.

Organized in collaboration with Northern Berkshire high school art teachers and young artists, the 2016 Teen Invitational showcases artwork created by high school students from seven regional high schools in a fun and friendly “sporting” environment. The sixth annual exhibition features art created by local students on view in MASS MoCA’s main galleries and opens with a reception and awards ceremony on Friday, April 29, 2016 at 7pm. The exhibition is on view through Sunday, May 1.

The Teen Invitational strives to reach all students who are engaged in the visual arts in northern Berkshire County, and who have made excellent work, inside or outside the classroom. “The Invitational is a celebration of the next generation of Berkshire creatives, showcasing the wide variety of art-making that local high schoolers are engaged with,” says MASS MoCA’s Director of Education Laura Thompson. A panel of MASS MoCA staff, area artists, and art teachers jury the work.

Many participating students take art classes in school, but those just testing the waters in the arts are also encouraged to submit work. Formal art training is not required. Student artists create works in competition for cash awards that directly support their schools’ art departments and for tuition credits at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

“This event is one of the highlights of our year,” says MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson. “The quality of the student art and the commitment of our local high school art teachers are both impressive, but it’s the rollicking atmosphere of the opening night that I find so spectacular and invigorating: this feels more like a sporting event, complete with cheering, than an art opening. It’s packed and a lot of fun.”

The Teen Invitational exhibit opens at MASS MoCA on Friday, April 29, at 7pm, with free admission to the museum galleries. Participating schools include Drury High School and McCann Technical School in North Adams; BART Charter Public School and Hoosac Valley High School in Adams; and Buxton School, Pine Cobble School, and Mt. Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown. An awards ceremony and announcements take place at 7:30pm, with a reception to follow at 8pm. The artworks remain on view at MASS MoCA on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, from 11am to 5pm (gallery admission required). Art teachers at the seven participating schools will also be invited to submit proposals to receive funding for projects that advance their own professional and artistic development.

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