Local Artist Curates Pound Ridge Elementary Art Show

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Plum Plums owner Audrey Free, left, stands with Pound Ridge Elementary art teacher David Llanos, and local artist Lisl Steiner, who curated the art show. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella
Pound Ridge Elementary School student Bennett Kass had his picture of a rat trying for a piece of cheese on display at Plum Plums Cheese Shop. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella
Pound Ridge Elementary students' art work will be on display in Plum Plums for all of February. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella
Pound Ridge Elementary students Gerardo Tueme and Jennifer Paul show off their art certificates. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella
These selected pieces were specially themed for Plum Plums Cheese Shop. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella
Some students' work spelled out their names in ways where you can't see names spelled out without giving it a hard look. Photo Credit: Michael Nocella

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – When acclaimed Pound Ridge artist Lisl Steiner took on the role of curating Pound Ridge Elementary School’s art show, she knew what venue she wanted: the wall of Plum Plums Cheese Shop, located at 72 Westchester Ave.

“When I look at this wall, I see Pompeii,” said Steiner. “It’s a great place for young artists' work to be seen.”

Steiner and Plum Plums owner Audrey Free have held more than 20 art shows in the store — all of which have showcased young artists’ art. Steiner said there is something special and unique about a child’s approach.

“When they are this age, they are very creative,” she said. “Creativity before it’s corrupted with knowledge is the most creative stage of a child.”

There was plenty of creativity on display on Plum Plums's wall, as 16 different elementary students had their work selected. Pound Ridge Elementary School art teacher David Llanos said artists Frank Stella and Vincent van Gogh influenced his students the most.

Their selected work will be on display in Plum Plums for all of February.

“We’ve focused on Stella’s style of putting sculptures and painting together,” he said. “That three-dimensional quality gives a very dramatic effect.”

One student who used such an effect was fourth-grader Gerardo Tueme, who depicted flowers in a vase mixed with abstract symbols popping out. It was his first time being part of an art show.

“The items mixed within the flowers are symbols for my friends and what we like to talk about,” he said. “They’re kind of crazy looking because my friends are kind of crazy.”

Pound Ridge Elementary student Jennifer Paul’s work took a different approach in a project that Llanos encouraged students to spell out their names in a way that wasn’t instantly identifiable.

“I really enjoyed putting the letters in different directions,” she said. “As you can see, the “N” looks like a “Z” and the “E” looks like a “3.”

Paul said she hopes to continue to pursue art as a hobby.

“I love how art let’s me express myself any way I want,” she said.

One drawing on display became the topic of conversation, as it depicted a rat scoping out a piece of cheese in a cheese trap.

“I didn’t think I’d make the show with a picture of a rat, but I did,” said Bennett Kass, who drew the picture. “The cheese is being saved for the people to eat and the rat is about to be killed.”

His mother, Sarah Kass, was just as surprised.

“I thought, why would a cheese shop want a rat on their wall?” she said, laughing.

Llanos was happy Plum Plums had the sense of humor to put it on display.

“Bennett did a great job with that one. It shows a great sense of detail and realism,” he said. “Like all the pieces here today, it’s really quality work.”

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