by Lisa Tome
At the ripe old age of 13, Gage Forsmark has already made his mark on the world.
Art work created by Forsmark and his fellow Rising Sun Middle School students spent all of February hanging on the walls at the Delaware Art Museum.
"I like having work in a museum. It's cool to have others see what I've done," said Forsmark, whose work has been displayed at the museum twice - this year and last. "I told my family. They are always supportive of my art."
The school's art work was placed at the museum as part of the annual Art Smart Exhibit. RSMS art teacher Carol Mangano said this was the eighth time works by local children have been displayed there.
"It's a very good motivator. It's a goal they try to achieve," said Mangano. More than 200 paintings, essays, and photos were featured this year.
Victoria Stauffer, an eighth grader, also had work in the museum this year and in the past.
"I like to know I have the ability to do advanced artwork. To be recognized is neat," said Stauffer.
Victoria Peterson said people think it's "cool" that her work has been shown in a museum.
Just knowing the work was there was not enough for sixth grader Sydney Robertshaw. She and her family went to view it. "I was surprised and excited. My family went and we saw it. We took pictures and sent them to our friends. I was happy to see how happy they were," said Robertshaw.
Mangano said that she, her husband, Matthew, and retired Cecil County art teacher Mimi Irwin put up the display of work. "Everything gets better. The students are always improving. Each generation improves," said Mangano.
The students also took a school trip to the museum accompanied by Mangano and teacher Steve Burke. Two different trips were scheduled but one was cancelled due to snow.
Throughout the school year, the students take various art field trips in an effort to improve their artistic viewpoint. This year, they have been to Longwood Gardens. They also went to the Elkton Art Center and to Cecil College where they did work in the visual communications department. "They are building up their experience and gaining additional insights," Mangano added.
March is National Student Art Month. Some works by RSMS students will be available for viewing in May at Cecil College.