Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Visualizing Music at the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest Press Conference

 Wednesday, June 27, 2018

On June 27, 2018, the Music Conservatory of Westchester celebrated the artistic talent in our community with the local press. Mya Madison Davis, 9th grader at Pelham Memorial High School and Ciara Sergi, 9th grader at White Plains High School are the winners of the Conservatory’s “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest in which their artwork submissions will be adapted into a mural representing “Multi-Cultural Music” painted on the south-facing exterior wall of the Conservatory’s building on Central Avenue in White Plains.

In addition to the two winners, the following guests were also in attendance:
  • Jean Newton, Executive Director of the Music Conservatory of Westchester
  • Lynn Honeysett, former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center
  • Mayor Thomas Roach of White Plains
  • Kimberlyn McKoy, Gallery Associate at ArtsWestchester
  • Amy R. Paulin, New York State Assemblymember of the 88th District
  • Andrea Taber, Music Conservatory of Westchester Board Member
  • Jonathan Villoch, Professional Mural Artist

Jean Newton explained in her introduction that this mural project is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“This project makes it able to visualize what we do within these walls every day at the Conservatory,” Newton said.

All of the art expert and community leader guests spoke about their appreciation for the arts and how as 9th graders, these winning artist students are already off to a great start.

Mya Madison Davis and Ciara Sergi were awarded certificates of artistic achievement as well as art supplies packages as prizes from Thomson’s Art and Frame Inc. in White Plains. Contest finalists Emma Farley and Lucy Schwartzreich were unable to attend. All four students are invited to participate in a mural art workshop led by Jonathan Villoch to collaborate on the final mural design.

“This would be a taste of what it’s like to work in an artist’s studio,” he said of this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these young artists.

Both winning students said they got help creating their artwork in different ways. Mya Madison Davis said that her art teacher at Pelham Memorial High School helped her figure out how to lay out her mural design and decide which materials to use. Ciara Sergi shared that she did a lot of online research about world music and musical instruments for inspiration in creating her contest artwork entry.

“These works of art can unify the community from the street,” former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center and contest judge, Lynn Honeysett, explained how the winning artwork truly represented the theme in unique ways as mural concepts that will be seen on a large scale.

Click to see the winning pieces of art!

The final mural will be unveiled on Sunday, September 30 in a block party celebration open to the public with live music, food trucks, and family activities on the Conservatory’s grounds.

As White Plains and Westchester County continue to industrialize, Mayor Thomas Roach said that he “love[s] to enjoy art, especially coming upon art.” Finding art in unexpected places, such as a public art mural on the side of the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s building on a busy street such as Central Avenue, is a special treat for the entire community.

New York State Assemblymember Amy Paulin shared her experience encouraging her daughter’s artistic career endeavors as a professional photographer. “Learn, grow, develop and take your talent to use in either a professional or recreational capacity.”

“I definitely plan on taking more art classes in high school,” contest winner Ciara Sergi said.

ArtsWestchester Gallery Associate, Kimberlyn McKoy expressed some words of advice to the winning students as they continue in their artistic journeys in life wherever that journey takes them. “Hone your skills. Ask questions. And don’t be afraid to be an artist.”

Click here to see more photos of the event!

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