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New Canaan's Silvermine Arts Center Takes Middle Schoolers On Walking Tour

Ponus Ridge Middle School art students took a recent walking tour of public art in South Norwalk.
Ponus Ridge Middle School art students took a recent walking tour of public art in South Norwalk. Photo Credit: Silvermine Arts Center
Ponus Ridge Middle School students were able to see sculptures, murals and graphics created over the years during a public art walking tour Oct. 6 in South Norwalk.
Ponus Ridge Middle School students were able to see sculptures, murals and graphics created over the years during a public art walking tour Oct. 6 in South Norwalk. Photo Credit: Silvermine Arts Center
Lilian Fortino of the Norwalk Housing Authority, Kimberly Castillo, and Susan Wallerstein of the Norwalk Arts Commission talk with students during a walking tour of art.
Lilian Fortino of the Norwalk Housing Authority, Kimberly Castillo, and Susan Wallerstein of the Norwalk Arts Commission talk with students during a walking tour of art. Photo Credit: Silvermine Arts Center
Nearly 30 Norwalk middle school and high school students have been trained since 2014 to offer public art tours through the Norwalk Arts Commission.
Nearly 30 Norwalk middle school and high school students have been trained since 2014 to offer public art tours through the Norwalk Arts Commission. Photo Credit: Silvermine Arts Center

NORWALK, Conn. -- A group of eighth-grade students from Ponus Ridge Middle School in Norwalk got to take a public art walking tour in South Norwalk to see some of the outdoor works of art created over the years by local artists.

Coordinated by Silvermine Arts Center, Norwalk Arts Commission and Ponus Ridge school officials, the recent excursion included a look at sculptures, murals and painted graphics. One of the tour guides was Kimberly Castillo, an eighth-grader at Ponus Ridge who is a trained docent through the arts commission.

The art walk was a continuation of a program that teaches students to host these type of programs for fellow arts students. Nearly 30 Norwalk middle and high school students have learned how to give such tours since the program started in 2014.

Specifically, the art walk offered a look at sculptures by Carole Eisner, Reuben Nakian, Rachel Calemmo (who did the SONO lighted sign); painted Traffic Graphic works by Jahmane West; and murals by Brechin Morgan.

“Norwalk is so fortunate to have a large number of works created in the '30s by WPA (Works Progress Administration) and New Deal-era artists including murals by Justin Gruelle in the South Norwalk Library and by Kindred McLeary in the Norwalk Post Office,” said Sophia Gevas, director of outreach education at Silvermine Arts Center.

For Ponus Ridge, art teacher Avery Gomez and Principal Damon Lewis sought an out-of-the-classroom immersive experience for the school’s art students. Silvermine’s Sophia Gevas coordinated the event with Susan Olsen Wallerstein of the Norwalk Arts Commission.

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