What Is Genuine Art?
Genuine Art was begun by a group of parents in 1998 as a way to support the MMS Scholarship Fund. This group of out-of-the box thinkers sought to bring together our entire community and engage students, parents and artists in a collaborative process that would be as meaningful as the artwork it produced – and raise money to help MMS families in need with tuition costs. In addition, proceeds from Genuine Art also support Preschool Advantage, an organization that funds other such preschool scholarships in the Morris County area.
Artists and students collaborate
Genuine Art captivates our entire school community. Each year, 10 to 12 professional artists volunteer their time and talent to collaborate with our students in order to create a piece for Genuine Art. Each artist chooses his and her own way to work with the children. The resulting artwork incorporates students' and artists' contributions.
Genuine Art Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction: On a Friday evening in April, artists, parents, teachers and friends gather in a local venue to view the work, socialize and bid on their favorite piece during the silent auction.
Genuine Art Children's Event: The next day, our students visit the gallery and proudly show their parents the piece of art they worked on with their classmates.
Sandy DeCristofaro, Artist, Speaking about her involvement with Genuine Art
“Ten years ago, I began an unexpected and thoroughly charming tenure with an unpredictable group of absolute strangers. This collection included shy personalities, those with curious natures, and some spirited souls willing to jump into novel activities. In an atmosphere of awe and with some trepidation, I found myself surrounded by two- and three-year olds who were ready to experience the creation of original work, inaugurating a program called Genuine Art.
“Originally, I had no firm relationship with the school, but after my initial meeting and brainstorming session with Terry Armstrong, I was totally engaged with the idea. I was hooked. Often children are dismissed as being too young to understand art. But for the past decade, Genuine Art has dispelled that perception and very happily demonstrated that with imagination and encouragement, everyone can participate in the creation of beautiful things. As a direct result of this collaboration, we professional artists can become transformed too. Little hands always seem to yield big results. And when their projects are completed and ready for public viewing, my own work improves for having been influenced by the innocent joy of making art.”
a Parent's perspective
We just wanted to let you and everyone else who made Genuine Art possible know how very happy we are about the “Children of the Garden” structure by Linda Evans we bought. It is now standing in our sun room and glittering in the sun. It is so special for us to know how many large and small hands have touched and made this piece of art. What an amazing and genuine creation, to turn Linda’s inspiration with the help of all children, teachers and volunteers into such a beautiful and elaborate piece!
We have also developed our very own interpretation of what it means to us … For us, it is what Madison Montessori School has been giving to our children: A very solid frame, anchored into the ground, structuring and upholding them. And growing on that strong frame are all their creative, quirky, whimsical, curious, wonderful and unique ideas, shining and dancing with joy in the sunlight.
“Children of the Garden” is such an uplifting piece of art – it makes us happy whenever we look at it! As happy as our children and we are each time we enter into MMS …
Ulli and Romain