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Genuine Art 2024

Fusion, Discovery, Harmony
Artwork Inspired by Singapore

Friday, April 19, 2024
7 PM

Fusion, Discovery, Harmony

At Madison Montessori, we believe that Genuine Art is not just an important aspect of our school culture, but an integral part of our mission, as we're constantly reminded of the value that a Montessori education brings to our lives and those of our children. By supporting our scholarship program, Genuine Art has enabled many children to benefit from this unique educational experience. Additionally, it provides an avenue for artistic expression that is unparalleled in our community.

Join us on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Fellowship Hall at the Presbyterian Church of Madison, to view our art gallery, where we'll showcase the extraordinary pieces that reflect our theme for this year, "Fusion, Discovery, Harmony," as well as our country of study, Singapore. These works of art are a collaborative effort between our talented students and renowned artists, and we're excited to share them with you.

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About the Artists

Meg Anderson
3-6 PM Class

A Madison local, Meg Anderson is a lover of art in its many forms. She particularly enjoys working with clay, pencil, paint, and photography. Nature is her “happy place,” and when she isn’t creating, she loves to be absorbed in it. Her work is innovative and interesting. Meg also shares her craft with others by teaching classes at Madison Mud.

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Jeff Benton
Kindergarten Classes

Having lived in Madison all his life, Jeff Benton continues to be a vibrant community member. He is the proud grandfather of MMS student Addy (3-6 AM) and MMS alumnus Wesley. Jeff has always had a passion for woodworking, and he enjoys creating in his home workshop.

Sarah Blank
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  • Etsy
3-6 AM Class

A painter and paper mâché artist based in Madison, Sarah Blank is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and earned a master’s degree in art education from Montclair State University. She enjoys painting and creating 3D pieces from recycled materials inspired by objects from the past. Her work is influenced by antiques and found objects, nature, and gardening. Sarah has lent her talents to Genuine Art many times over and is the proud parent of MMS alumni.

Colleen James
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Pre-3 Classes

A painter and mixed-media artist focused on both figurative and abstract subjects, Colleen James has a dual degree in Fine Arts and English from Georgetown University and an MBA from Stanford University. Colleen also studied painting and drawing at the University of Paris, the Art Students League in New York, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. In September 2019, her paintings were part of a dual exhibition called (dis)ORDER at Academy Square Galleries in Montclair, and in 2022, she was the featured resident artist at Walnut Street Kitchen in Montclair.


Her work can be found through Studio Montclair and the Drawing Galaxy artist collective. Colleen is highly influenced by the colors and patterns found in mid-century textiles and her 15+ year-career working for the modern furniture company Knoll. She lives in Montclair with her husband Graham and children Harry and Vivian.

Ashli Kinner
All Classes

MMS parent to Watson (Kindergarten) and Edison (Pre-3 5-Day), Ashli Kinner is a dedicated photographer, creating beautiful artwork for busy families. Ashli uses her artistic talents to create carefully curated sessions for clients resulting in long-lasting keepsakes. Her work concentrates on newborn, maternity, and family photography, preserving moments in time for families to cherish for years to come.

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Gretchen Radzik
Kindergarten Classes

Artist and mom to Beau (Kindergarten), Gretchen Radzik has a background in textile design and printmaking. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design and then went on to design textiles in San Francisco. She earned her Masters in Art Education from Pratt Institute in 2012 before becoming an art teacher in New York City.

Kimberly Ross
3-6 AM & PM Classes

A nursing graduate of Georgetown University, Kimberly Ross has found outlets for her artistic talents in multiple mediums. An accomplished sewer, she creates clothing, blankets, and other textiles in innovative ways. She can often be found in her home workshop exploring familiar, as well as new artistic forms. Parent to Addy (3-6 AM) and Wesley (alumnus), she contributes to Genuine Art and the MMS community via many avenues.

Rossana Stevenson
3-6 AM & PM Classes

Rossana and Bill Stevenson are parents of Matias and Joaquin, former MMS students. This is their fourteenth year participating with Genuine Art as a family and loving it. Genuine Art is a special part of the MMS experience. The creativity of the children and the wonderful work that is produced inspires them to participate. As they work with the children, it does not cease to amaze them how artistic curiosity and creativity can be harnessed to create art at a very young age.

Marianne McCrea Tuttle
3-6 AM & PM Classes

Marianne McCrea Tuttle lives and works in Madison. As a fine artist, Marianne works in various mediums. During the pandemic, Marianne and her husband renovated the family garage and made it into her art studio. She creates art while enjoying the company of her dog, 2 children, and husband. Inspired by life, literature, and music, her work includes mixed media, painting, and more. She has taught fine arts at Saint Vincent Martyr School and the Madison Area YMCA. In addition to her work in fine arts, Marianne has had a robust career in architectural design, working with retail, corporate, and residential clients. Marianne received her bachelor’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology. Her post-graduate studies include programs at New York University, Cooper Union University, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the School of Visual Arts.

Laura Yost
All Classes

Laura Yost is a distinguished photographer based out of New York City. She comes from a family of artists and is a proud graduate of Minnesota State University where she majored in Theatre and Photography. Laura specializes in custom photography: newborn and baby, maternity, and family, as well as actor and professional headshots. Her style is modern, contemporary, sophisticated, and timeless. Laura endeavors to capture her clients’ personalities and spirit with her artistry. Her work can be found in numerous publications, including Vogue, Time, the New York Post, and Forbes. When not in the studio or traveling to meet her clients, Laura loves the outdoors–exploring New York City or heading into nature–as well as spending time with her family.

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2024 Gallery

Select an image below to see more information about the piece.
Opening bids for all pieces will be $300.

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Behind the Scenes

Take a look through the gallery and see if you can find your artist hard at work!

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A Message From the Head of School

Genuine Art holds a profound place within the fabric of Madison Montessori School, tracing its roots back to the program's inception 26 years ago. At that time, the extent of its success was unforeseen, and since then, it has woven a tapestry of growth within our community, forging connections with new artists and supporters. The collaboration with wonderful, kind, and generous volunteers—who contribute their time, talent, and services—has been a source of inspiration.

The commitment of parent volunteers continues to awe and inspire us, aligning with the program's core objectives—to provide our children with an authentic art experience and to generate funds for our scholarship initiative. Genuine Art has become a collective journey, where volunteers, teachers, and artists witness our students immerse their hands, minds, and spirits into each art project. The culmination of these efforts, showcased in the gallery, evokes a sense of happiness and pride for both the children and their parents, creating lasting impressions.

Crucial to the realization of Genuine Art is the active participation of parents. We extend our sincere gratitude to all parents and families for their diverse support—whether through financial contributions, innovative ideas, volunteerism during art sessions, assistance in administrative tasks, or attendance at adult and student events. Your multifaceted involvement significantly shapes the success of this program and is genuinely appreciated.

Behind the scenes of every fundraising event are numerous individuals contributing their time and effort, and Genuine Art is no exception. We express our heartfelt thanks and applause to the following individuals for their dedication evident in countless texts, emails, meetings, and conversations.

Co-Chairs of Genuine Art & Silent Auction

Kim Ross and Alexandra Vazquez

Adult Event Committee

Anar Shah (co-chair), Brittney Jordan (co-chair), and Danielle Kanouse

Children's Event Committee

April Lodato (chair), Laura Baker, Michele DeVine, Slavka Kain, and Gretchen Radzik


Sara Post


Alexandra Vazquez

Social Media Coordinator

Christine Andrade

Art Advisor

Bob MacDonald

Invitation Design

Kim Ross


Peter Lewin


Jen Jardim

Efforts to minimize costs tied to Genuine Art are crucial to maximizing the net proceeds destined for our scholarship fund. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to those who have made noteworthy contributions in support of this objective.

Sharon du Plessis of Metamorpheus Design Services for donating our lounge furniture for the evening

Kerry Patel of Kerry Patel Poetic Florals and Cheryl Rajewski of What a Dish catering for working within a limited budget to provide our food, flowers, and decor

Jerry Vezza for providing the evening's music

The Voleti family for lending us tables and linens for the evening

I express boundless gratitude on behalf of MMS and the children we serve for the unwavering support bestowed upon us by our school and the broader community. Thank you!

Laura Arzeno

Head of School

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Scholarships at MMS

Our scholarship awards are made possible not only through the proceeds of this silent auction, but also voluntary donations from our families, our extended community, and the generous support from additional funds, specifically the Benjamin Robert Wieler Scholarship Fund and the LaVerne Kleinheider Memorial Fund. We also partner with Preschool Advantage, a non-profit organization that offers scholarships to families of 3 and 4 year olds with limited funds in Morris and Somerset counties.

The MMS Scholarship Fund plays a crucial role in offering tuition assistance to qualifying families, enabling children to access the enriching experience of a Madison Montessori education. Genuine Art not only contributes to funding our scholarship program, which has afforded numerous children the opportunity for a Montessori education, but it also delivers a distinctive artistic experience for all the children involved.

Susan and Stephen Wieler established a fund in memory of their son, Ben, who was one of our students. The proceeds from the sale of the piece created by Colleen James, After Kandinsky, will be added to Ben’s fund.

The Kleinheider family established a scholarship fund in memory of LaVerne Kleinheider, one of the first parents to enroll a child in our school when we opened our doors in 1981. Justin Kleinheider shared, “What my father and I would like to do is to provide the opportunity of MMS to someone who would otherwise not be able to attend. I know in my heart that my mother believed in education and that MMS was the crucial first step to my success.”

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