On the second floor of Congregation Ahavas Sholom in Newark's North Ward, a quiet, airy room welcomes visitors with bursts of color and the sentiment of warm weather for the "Seasons: Spring Summer" exhibit that opened last Thursday.
Artwork of students from Dr. William H. Horton, First Avenue, Luis Munoz Marin and Rafael Hernandez schools, which range from vibrant trees to unconventionally colored landscapes, will be on display until September 5 at the Broadway synagogue.
"Here it is in their own neighborhood," said James P. Sheeley Jr., director of the Newark Public Schools Office of Visual and Performing Arts.
Students drew inspiration from artists like Winslow Homer, Van Gogh and Peter Max and used mediums including crayon, marker and paint to create their signature work. Students' haikus with seasonal themes, some of which were read aloud during last Thursday's opening ceremony, are also on display this summer.
Christopher Cruz, sixth grader at Dr. William H. Horton School, showed off his piece depicting a man looking at an unusually colored sunrise through a telescope. He said he channeled the work of Max while drawing his picture with oil pastels.
"I wanted to do it just like him," said Cruz of the Jewish-American artist best known for his use of bold color.
Meanwhile, Kenneth Soto, also a sixth grader at Dr. William H. Horton School, proudly displayed his drawing of a pink cloud and purple sun with cheery smiles.
"I didn't want to use the color yellow, that's too normal," said Soto.
Visit the Congregation Ahavas Sholom at 145 Broadway in Newark to see more of the students' work.