Burlington Public Schools Art Program

2014-2015 Year in Review


This is from several years ago, but it gives an example of the wide variety of activites, events, and opportunities that happen every year in and outside of the high school’s art classes.

This year as always, students across grade levels explored a variety of materials and processes and learned a wide range of skills. Teachers promoted creative thinking and the generation and development of new ideas. They facilitated different methods of problem-solving, and they promoted the idea that there may be more than one solution to a problem. They promoted a sense of community through collaborative projects, group critiques, and regular informal discussions. Burlington students were encouraged to look closely and carefully at things.  The art program helped to answer a young person’s need for greater independence, giving students the opportunity, when appropriate, to generate or modify goals, and to develop their own variations on some projects. Art classes served as a balance to academic classes. Students continued to love the enriching experience of art, and they continued to be more well-rounded for it.


Art.Write.Now Traveling Exhibition

In August, the work of Benedict Grubner, who had previously won a National Gold Medal in last year’s Scholastic Art Awards competition, was selected for the Art.Write.Now.Tour 2014-2015, a traveling exhibition of art and writing from National Medalists of the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Now in its fifth year, the Art.Write.Now.Tour gives audiences across the nation the opportunity to view the most stunning and original work from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These visionary, emerging artists, writers, and filmmakers are selected as the “best in the country” by top professionals in the visual and literary arts. It was curated by notable artist Kay WalkingStick, an alumna of the 1948 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The traveling exhibition began its journey in September at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and culminated in an exhibition at the Catskills Art Society in Livingston Manor, New York in February, 2015.

Art School Representatives

Every fall, the high school art department hosts representatives from post-secondary art programs in the New England region. The representatives presented their programs to juniors and seniors in our advanced classes. Several of our students attended the BSA Architecture/Design College Fair in October and National Portfolio Day in November. Representatives from art programs from throughout the country were on hand to review portfolios, giving honest, direct criticism of our students’ work before they would refine it for their actual college applications.

Regional High School Art Exhibition

Over forty Burlington students exhibited their work at the Regional High School Art Exhibition sponsored by the Lexington Arts & Crafts Society this November. This exhibit was shared with high school art programs in several neighboring communities, including Arlington, Bedford, Burlington, Concord-Carlisle, Lexington, Waltham and Winchester.

Alumni Artist Day

Thanks go out to all the alumni who showed up for our seventh annual Alumni Artist Day. On Friday, January 9, 2015, the Burlington High School Art Department hosted the event from 7:30 am until 2 pm. For the past seven years, the Burlington High School Art Department has welcomed back former students to discuss their careers as artists. Alumni in college talked about their experiences at art school and shared their portfolios, senior college students talked about how they were preparing to enter the workforce, and alumni who are working as designers, artists, and architects shared their experiences and day-to-day activities at their jobs.

All the high school’s art students attended the event during their art periods. They learned about careers in the arts and had a chance to ask questions of the alumni. As often happens at the event, in addition to connecting alumni with current students, this year’s Alumni Artist Day brought opportunities for alumni to network.

Cristoforo Magliozzi (BHS Class of 2007), Principal Researcher and Project Coordinator at the metaLAB at Harvard University, is also a director, cinematographer, and editor. Cris showed his documentary film, Cold Storage. Cold Storage premiered locally alongside ( “in dialogue with”) French director Alan Resnais’ 1956 documentary, All the World’s Memory, which served as an inspiration and from which much of the narration in Chris’ film is derived. The film premiered on February 2 in Piper Auditorium at Harvard University, but our students were treated to a first glimpse. The premiere at Harvard also debut its accompanying interactive web-based media archive. The premiere was held in conjunction with an exhibition called Icons of Knowledge at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, which looks at the history of national library buildings through models, murals, and drawings. Students asked about Chris’ previous experience at the White House, where he served on a film crew. Chris’ work can be viewed at and at

Chris Coe (BHS Class of 2013) spoke to Burlington students several times throughout the day, sharing his experiences as a freelance photographer and as a sophomore at Rochester Institute of Technology, where his focus is advertising photography. His portfolio can be viewed at Chris assured us that he would be attending every Alumni Artist Day for the next thirty years.

Rachel Faller (BHS Class of 2004) used video conferencing through Google Hangout to speak to our classes. She spoke to us from her home in San Francisco, where she recently moved to further develop her international business. Rachel is the owner and founder of Tonle Zero Waste Fashion (, and she shared her experiences as a creative and an entrepreneur. Press on Tonle can be found at The Chic Ecologist ( and Ecouterre (, among other sites. Rachel is a graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art who had focused on textiles.

Other presenters at the event included: Dan Barrera (BHS Class of 2013), a sophomore at Becker College focusing on Interactive Media and Game Design; Elizabeth Johnson, a senior at Framingham State studying Fashion Merchandising; Daniel Fitzpatrick (BHS Class of 2003), a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design working as the User Experience Developer at Smashify Technologies; Gamuchirai Dhliwayo (BHS Class of 2013), in her sophomore year at Massachusetts College of Art and Design majoring in Graphic Design; Anesu Dhliwayo, a graduate of the Boston Architectural College. She is a designer at LAB ( who is working toward becoming a registered architect; Jen Vachon, a graduate of Syracuse University working in architectural design at Isgenuity, Michael Guleserian, a freshman at Lasell College majoring in graphic design and working as a freelance graphic designer of logos; and Marissa Cote (BHS Class of 2013), who shared the experiences of her sophomore year at School of the Art Institute of Technology (SAIC).

Ms. Christina Chang, Burlington High School art teacher, organized the event.

Exemplifying the connections that are made during the event, later in the year alumnus filmmaker Cris Magliozzi contacted the department about the need for an intern at his organization, Harvard’s metaLAB. A very interested recent alumnus and a current student were both put in touch with Cris about the internship.

Field Trip to Visit BHS Alumnus Dan Ricardelli at Bergmeyer and Associates

We love bragging about our former students. It is a delight and pleasure to see and learn from them after they graduate and move on to exciting careers. Dan Ricardelli is a designer at the architecture firm Bergmeyer and Associates. Dan is busy completing his required hours as a designer and taking his exams and will become a registered architect in the near future. Bergmeyer graciously hosted a 20+ architecture and design students to visit his firm and learn about his career as an architect.

Dan gave a tour to the students of the resource library at Bergmeyer. He gave a wonderful presentation explaining his path from Burlington High School to Northeastern University and then to his current job, and answered students’ questions about the field of architecture.


The work of several of our students was published in Collab, the high school’s magazine of writing and art, and in The Marble Collection, Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts.

The high school’s English department congratulated two students for their victories in Collab’s two sub-contests. For the past three years, the top entry from a member of the junior class has become the artwork that the English Department features on its custom-printed British Literature textbook, which gets distributed to over 250 students. Similarly, the top entry from a sophomore has become the cover image for the next American Literature textbook. This year, the top entry from a junior was a photograph by Stephanie O’Neill. The top entry from a sophomore was a photograph by Jordan Dalla Santa. Also, having put its website through its annual renovation, Collab’s web header featured some of the other artwork that was also selected for publication in its 2015 edition.

The Marble Collection - Winter Edition

Nineteen of the fifty-nine pieces in the winter edition of the Marble Collection were by current Burlington students. Burlington students who had either writing or artwork published in the issue included:

Ryan Johnson (art) (2)

Julia Feist (art) (4)

Olivia Sheldon (art)

Amanda Gregorio (art)

Keri Cucinotta (art) (2)

Samantha Poulin (art)

Leanne Worob (art)

Kavya Sebastian (fiction)

Mackenzie Ellis (art)

Bolla Fokum (art)

Ariana Orne (poetry)(2)

Evan Holman (art)

MIchaela Catherine LaPrise (poetry)

The four images from Julia Feist were taken in the Marshall Simonds Middle School Photo Club and the photography summer program run by Laura Phillips and Sue Rogers.

In addition, two photographs in the book were taken by former Burlington students from Marshall Simonds MIddle School:

A Day on the Train, by Jordan Casaubon was taken in the summer photography program of Marshall Simonds Middle School. Jordan is now a ninth grade student at Shawsheen Technical High School.

Caneman, by Emily Marquis, was taken in Boston on a field trip during the middle school’s Photo Club. Emily is now a student at Concord Academy.

The Marble Collection (TMC), Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts is the only statewide print and online magazine of the arts, featuring jury-selected artwork, photography, spoken word, poetry, and writing by students in grades 8 to 12.   TMC also offers innovative e-Mentoring workshops that partner teen writers and artists with college-level mentors who help them refine their voices and guide their work to publication. The Marble Collection’s mission is to cultivate creativity and excellence in the arts by engaging teen artists and writers in a publication process that affirms their voices and deepens learning.  TMC is primarily a non-profit publication featuring high school level work, so once again, it is amazing that MSMS has been well-represented with published work.

Older issues of the magazine, which also include the work of Burlington students, are available for free online viewing at .

Project Linus

Burlington High School Art Club students created nine blankets that were donated to Project Linus, an organization that delivers new handmade blankets to any child who may be in need of some extra comforting that only a beloved "blankie" can provide. We offer a worthwhile service opportunity for the benefit of children.

Sixth Congressional District Art Competition

The work of the following Burlington High School art students was on display in the 2015 Massachusetts Sixth Congressional District Art Competition: Kevin Cardoso, Rachel Carlino, Briana LoRusso, Julia Roussell, Lily Zenkin, and Anne Zhang.

A digital art piece by Kevin Cardoso, Grade 12, entitled “Broken Reality”, was selected as Best of School for Burlington High School.


Rachel Carlino, Grade 10, earned an Honorable Mention for her work, “Pink”.    

The exhibit included 120 pieces from 26 different high schools and one home-schooled submission. The exhibition was on display from Wednesday, March 4 to Friday, March 6 from 3-7pm. The awards were presented Saturday, March 7 by U.S. Representative Seth Moulton at Montserrat College of Art’s 301 Gallery, 301 Cabot Street, Beverly. The exhibit was on display Wednesday, March 4 - Saturday, March 7 at the 301 Gallery, 301 Cabot Street, Beverly.


The exhibition was juried by Artist Judy Schmid and Artist Lee Essex Doyle. It was open to high school students from public and private schools within the 6th District of Massachusetts, as well as high school students home-schooled within the district.

Each winner was presented with a citation from Congressman Moulton and varying levels of scholarships to Montserrat’s Summer Pre-College Program.

The work by the five BHS students will now be on display at Burlington High School’s 42nd annual art exhibition on March 19.

Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition

From March 7 until March 15, BHS senior Anne Zhang’s drawings and the photographs of Marshall Simonds Middle School students Jordan Casaubon and Olivia Virgin were in an exhibition of this year’s Scholastic Art Awards Gold Key-winning work at 808 Gallery at Boston University (808 Commonwealth Avenue). The regional awards ceremony for Gold and Silver Key winners was held at the Regis Auditorium of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on Saturday, March 7.

In addition to the Gold Key winning work listed above, Silver Keys and Honorable Mentions had been awarded to the following Marshall Simonds Middle School students at the annual Boston Globe Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition.

At the high school level, Honorable Mentions were earned by:

Taylor LeRoux - Fashion

Jovan Sematimba - Drawing and Illustration category

Samantha Sheppard - Digital Art

Jillian Sullivan - Drawing and Illustration

Melanie Sunnerberg - Fashion

Brenna Tedesco - Drawing and Illustration

Anne Zhang - Drawing and Illustration (3)

Silver Keys were earned by:

Aysha Afzal - Design category

Abigail Hogan - Fashion

Michael Meneghini - Ceramics & Glass

Mat Mitchell - Photography

Two Gold Keys went to Anne Zhang, for two pieces in the Drawing and Illustration category.

At the middle school level, Honorable Mentions were earned by:

Ashley Koman - Photography

Neil Pandit - Photography

Silver Keys were earned by:

Sydney Craig - Photography (2)

Madison Green - Photography

Emily Marquis - Photography

Analicia Padilla - Photography

Gold Keys went to:

Jordan Casaubon - Photography

Olivia Virgin - Photography

In addition, Jordan Casaubon was selected as a nominee for the American Visions & Voices Award for a photograph entitled Train Ride. This nomination is exceedingly rare, as only five pieces of artwork and five pieces of written work are nominated every year, and Scholastic receives over 15,000 submissions per year in Massachusetts. Jordan and the other four nominees will have their work forwarded on to the national American Visions & Voices competition to determine the very best in art submissions this year, and the national winners will be announced in mid-March.

Writing, Burlington High School

The following students have been recognized for their work in the 2015 Scholastic Writing Awards:

Gold Key (the highest award, these pieces will be entered in the national competition)

Kavya Sebastian - "3 A.M. Coffee" (short story)

Anjali Seereeram - "Youth" (short story)

Silver Key

Michaela Meneghini - "Blood Red" (sci-fi/fantasy)

Michaela Meneghini - "Falling" (flash fiction)

Ariana Orne - "Answers" (short story)

Honorable Mention

Alyssa Mathieson - "Waiting" (short story)

Michaela Meneghini - "City Slumber" (poetry)

Michaela Meneghini - "Community Development in the Missing Middle and the Nicaraguan Market" (critical essay)

Anjali Seereeram - "Yo Ho Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me" (critical essay)

Samantha Sheppard - "Listen to Me!" (short story)

Yaju Tuladhar - "Clueless" (short story)

Anjali Seereeram (class of 2015) has had her short story "Youth" nominated for the American Vision and Voices Award in Massachusetts, as a part of the Scholastic Writing Awards. This year, there were over 1,300 written submissions, and Anjali's story has been selected as one of the top five. The other four nominees were selected from four other written genres (Poetry, Play, Essay & Flash Fiction), so Anjali's story is already the best of the Short Story submissions in Massachusetts this year.

She and the other four nominees had their work forwarded on to the national American Voices competition to determine the very best in written submissions this year.

Writing, Marshall Simonds Middle School

These middle school students earned honors in the Writing portion of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition (See Ben Lally’s earlier email for the high school winners.).:

Niti Seeraram earned an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category.

Luis Villalta earned an Honorable Mention in Science Fiction/Fantasy.

Kristina Wolinski earned an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category.

Dilan Churchill received a Silver Key in Poetry.

Aurora Golden received a Silver Key in Poetry.

Neil Pandit received a Silver Key in Journalism.

Burlington’s award winners were selected from more 16,000 pieces of art and writing submitted to the Massachusetts Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!

At the national level, regional Gold Key works were advanced to be judged for gold or silver medals.   Last year, Marshall Simonds Middle School was honored to have Benny Grubner’s work receive a National Gold Medal and his work was also selected to travel throughout the country in the national exhibit,  Art Now.

About the Competition

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have existed since 1923 and the contest affords students across the country the opportunity to be recognized for their talents.  Notable winners of these prestigious awards include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Redford.  Judges look for originality, technical skill, and development of a personal voice and/or vision.  At the regional level, students are selected  to receive the Gold Key, the Silver Key, or Honorable Mention.  Additionally, each state nominates five selected Gold Key level awards as American Visions & Voices Nominees to be further judged with the hope of achieving the distinction of “Best of Show”.

From the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards website: (

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards began as a small writing contest with a $5 prize and six winning applicants in 1923. Today, more than 90,000 teens in grades 7 through 12 from around the nation annually submit more than 185,000 works of art and writing in 28 categories. Winning students earn opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships.

The Awards, now presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, not only celebrate the rich future of artistic America, but also document its past. The program has been credited with identifying early talent in generations of America’s cultural icons, including Truman Capote (1932), Richard Avedon (1941), Andy Warhol (ca. 1945), Sylvia Plath (1947), Robert Redford (1954) and Zac Posen (1998), each of whom won the award when they were in high school...Richard Avedon called winning his Scholastic Award, "the defining moment of my life."

Selected images of award-winning work from Burlington High School can be found at this link:

Congratulations to Olivia Virgin, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2015: National Medal Winner!

Former BEAMer (now 9th grader at BHS), Olivia Virgin, received a National Silver Medal award in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2015.  Olivia’s photograph, entitled “Uncle Henry” was taken while she was an 8th grade BEAM student and member of the MSMS Photo Club.  Winning a Gold Key at the State level, “Uncle Henry” was sent onward to NYC, where “he” received a Silver Medal!  Congratulations to Olivia, her family, and of course, Uncle Henry!

Youth Art Month Exhibition

In March and April, the work of the following students was on display at the Massachusetts Art Education Association’s Youth Art Month Exhibition, which honors young artists from grades K through 12 from across Massachusetts. The multi- media exhibit was sponsored by the Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA) in conjunction with Youth Art Month, a national celebration that emphasizes the value of art education for all children and encourages support for the quality art programs in our schools.

From Burlington High School: Abbey Hogan, Teneisha Mytil, Samantha Sheppard, James Cirrone, and Stephanie O’Neill. , The YAM show honors young artists from grades K through 12 from across Massachusetts

From Marshall Simonds Middle School: (8th Grade) Sarah Owens, Gati Aher, Neil Pandit, Erin Kerr, and Alison Martin; (7th Grade) Nicole Keddy, Abby Fernell, Madison Green, and Analicia Padilla; (6th Grade) Angela Minichiello  

There were over 600 works of art on display grades K-12 submitted by 135 art teachers, representing close to 60 cities and towns from across Massachusetts. Class field trips to the show could be arranged by contacting Tim O'connor and John Michael Gray at .

The exhibition was open to the public from March 9 until April 24. A family reception was held on Sunday, March 22.

MSMS Student Is Recipient of Sargent Art Outstanding Achievement Award

The 2015 Youth Art Month family celebration, sponsored by the Mass. Art Educators Association, was held on Sunday, March 22nd at the State Transportation Building in Boston.  Students from 63 school districts throughout Massachusetts in Grades K-8 were selected by their art teachers to exhibit work (each educator was limited to just 5 pieces of artwork, including Ms. Phillips’ art classes and Ms. Rogers’ Photo Clubbers ).  Congratulations to all students whose work was selected for the exhibit.  Special recognition goes to Marshall Simonds 8th grader, Gati Aher, who was selected for the Sargent Art Oustanding Achievement Award for her cultural self-portrait.   Gati’s prize package includes an all-expense paid trip for her and a parent (AND her art teacher) to NYC, including airfare, hotel, transportation, and museum visits.

The other nine MSMS student artists included Alison Martin, Erin Kerr, Angela Minichiello, Nicole Keddy, Analicia Padilla, Neil Pandit, Sarah Owens, Abby Fennell and Madison Green.

Ms. Laura Phillips, Ms. Susan Russo Rogers, the young artists and their parents attended the family celebration to support the children and the visual arts.

BHS 42nd Annual Art Exhibition, 3rd Annual Fashion Show and 2nd Annual Raffle for the Arts

The opening reception for Burlington High School's 42nd Annual Art Exhibition was held on Thursday, March 19, from 6:30 until 8:30 pm, which was also the night of the high school's Open House. Hundreds of pieces of work from all art classes were on display in the high school library and main lobby. The show was up until the second week of April, but this was the only night that the exhibition was open to the general public.

Also that night, the Fashion Design class hosted its third annual Fashion Show in the lower library.

Cambridge Street Gallery, across from the school's cafeteria, was open that night. On display was an art installation by students in Ms. Christina Chang's Drawing and Painting class.

Representative Kenneth Gordon, State Representative Twenty-First Middlesex District, attended the event and presented a Citation of Excellence for the Massachusetts House of Representatives to the Burlington High School Art Department in recognition of its exemplary faculty and gifted students in achieving excellence in art.

Posters for the event were created by students in Mr. Keith March-Mistler's Digital Publishing class.


The second annual Raffle of the Arts, a fundraiser for the Burlington High School Art Department Scholarship Fund, was a huge success. Prizes were generously donated by Salem Five Bank, and include a Nikon D3100 dSLR camera, a 3D Doodler 3D Printing Pen (You have to see what this thing can do!), and a Kindle Fire HD (16 GB, 7” screen,wifi, dual core 1.5 GHz). The raffle was a fundraiser for the department’s scholarship fund, which provides awards for graduating seniors enrolling in art, design, photography and architecture programs in college. The drawing was held at the high school’s 42nd annual art exhibition (and 3rd annual fashion show) on March 19 at 8 pm.

In addition to the corporate sponsorship of Salem Five Bank, the department also received donations from b.Good and Tuscan Kitchen restaurants for the scholarship fund.

The Marble Collection - Spring Edition

Several Burlington students were selected for publication in the Spring edition of The Marble Collection: Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts Spring 2015 (, the only statewide print and online magazine of the arts featuring jury-selected artwork, writing, and spoken word poetry & storytelling video by students in grades 8 to 12.

Of the sixty students whose work was published in the magazine, twelve were from the Burlington school district.

Alison Heffler, Burlington High School    

Briana Lo Russo, Burlington High School                

Erin Kerr, Marshall Simonds Middle School

Ginger Boodakian, Burlington High School        

Joel Hagan, Burlington High School        

Kosta Stamides, Burlington High School                 

Madison Hoyt, Burlington High School    

Marissa Walker, Burlington High School           

Melanie Fulcher, Burlington High School          

Melanie Sunnerberg, Burlington High School   

Neil Pandit, Marshall Simonds Middle School

Sarah Owens, Marshall Simonds Middle School

Published works were selected from teen submissions from 200 schools and community organizations across Massachusetts. All published works are juror-selected to ensure artistic excellence. Through this selective process, The Marble Collection strives to publish the most diverse and acclaimed collection of work.

All published teen artists and writers had the opportunity to participate with TMC’s free Student Mentoring Workshop, in which they are partnered with college student mentors who help them refine their voices and guide their work to publication.  

The Marble Collection: Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts was released in May 2015.

Field Trip to The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

This year Ms. Djordjevic and Mr. Mistler  escorted forty-nine fantastic high school art students on a trip to MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) and the galleries in Soho, NYC. It was one very long day of travel starting at 6:30am and ending at nearly 11pm, but every year it’s worth it to watch our students see art that they’ve studied in class and looked at on computer screens and actually have a chance to experience the works live and in-person. New York is host to some of the most incredible art museums in the world and that’s what prompted the BHS art department to start this annual field trip nearly a decade ago. The exhibits at MoMA are always impressive and this year we were able to see a lot of pop art (Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg), abstract expressionists including Pollock and Kandinsky, works by Van Gogh and Picasso, and many other amazing artists.

Photography students also went on their annual field trip to Boston in this Spring, from which they produce many great photos during the fourth term.

Artist Residency: Arnie Casavant

Thanks to a generous grant from the Burlington Education Foundation, guest artist Arnie Casavant began an eight-week, eight-session residency with Ms. Chang’s Drawing and Painting students on Wednesday, April 15. Arnie Casavant is a landscape painter who worked with the students from April- June to create a series of landscapes. Students were treated to great demonstrations and lectures by Mr. Casavant. Mr. Casavant’s paintings were on exhibit in the high school’s Cambridge Street Gallery in April and May.

Here are links to Ms. Chang's blog posts about Mr. Casavant’s residency:

At the end of his residency, students had this to say about the experience:

"Painting can be frustrating but the end result was GREAT!" -- Sarah, grade 10


"Arnie's passion for painting was so clear and he shared that with us everyday"  -- Emily, grade 10


"Painting is hard but Arnie made it easy" -- Luciana, grade 10


"It was great to have Arnie paint in front of us ( during his demonstrations), it would be hard for me for someone to watch me paint, but Arnie did it and it helped us see the steps and process" -- Sarah, grade 10

Examples of student work from the residency can be found here.

Spring Exhibitions

All the elementary art teachers held their annual school art exhibitions in May, sharing the wonderful work of all their young artists with their wider school communities. To deepen communication with parents, Ms. Courtney Fallon integrated QR codes into her Arts Night show so that viewers of each work ccould see video explanations of the projects on display. Ms. Fallon has been using QR codes for certain activities and events over the past two years. Ms. Donna York organized the Memorial School art show around the theme of “America the Beautiful.” Mr. Stephen Scarpulla, Ms. Fallon, Mrs. Carol Finkle, and Ms. Betty Kerr collaborated with their colleagues in music during these Fine Arts Nights.

At the middle school, Ms. Dearden, Ms. Phillips, and Ms. Baldwin used their school’s Open House as an opportunity to share the work of their students in mini-exhibitions in their classrooms.

Portfolio Exhibition

Also that month, our AP Studio Art and Portfolio classes held the reception for the 9th Annual Portfolio Exhibition on Wednesday, May 6, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. The Exhibition coincided with the Music Department's annual Spring Concert, which began at 7:30 in the school’s auditorium.

The Portfolio Exhibition differed from Burlington High’s other Annual Art Exhibition (which occurred in March) in that it was predominantly student-organized. Juniors and seniors in the advanced art classes self-selected the work to be displayed, they organized their own personal exhibit spaces, and they were all on hand to discuss the bodies of work they had developed over the past year or more. One long-term effort from each student was on display: Each artist had been working on a Concentration, a series of artworks focused on a particular theme or method, with learning objectives developed by the student. Visitors were able to speak to the artists about their goals and their processes.

Landscape Painting Exhibition at Mercedes-Benz

In June, the community room of Burlington’s new Mercedes-Benz dealership was the location of a Burlington High School exhibition. The Drawing and Painting students exhibited their landscape paintings and guest artist Arnie Casavant also exhibited a painting. The reception was held on the evening of Monday, June 15 in the the community space of the dealership. Wegman’s donated food for the event.

Much thanks to Lauren Vigneau for designing the poster for the exhibition (below).

Alumnus Lauren Vigneau Shares Her Talents

Gifts come to the BHS Art Department in many ways. This year it came to us as a simple job filled by permanent substitute teacher Lauren Vigneau. We were fortunate this year to have our very our former student return as a substitute teacher. Lauren's daily tasks varied as she subbed for different teachers throughout the building on a daily basis.

This was the perfect fit for Lauren who is earning her Master’s Degree in Art Education. Of course the art teachers all love it when Lauren is our sub because she engages all of our students in wonderful ways. Colleague Keith Mistler said:

"Lauren has been such a wonderful addition to the art department at BHS. She loves subbing for my classes and my students like to ask for her artistic opinion. I know she will be an amazing art teacher with much to offer!"

Lauren studied at The New England Institute of Art,  where she earned her Bachelor in Graphic Design. Her website Birchnine shows her extensive design work and talents.

Since Lauren is a designer, Ms. Chang asked her if she would share her talents and create the postcard for the student art exhibition being held at the new Mercedes Benz dealership. Lauren gleefully volunteered her time and created this great poster and postcard.

Lauren also jumped on board when she was asked to help out with a logo and signage for the new Maker Studio that Ms. Chang’s architecture students were creating for the their client teacher and technology specialist Jenn Scheffer. The Maker Studio is a new space in the high school library where students can go to create and experiment. The new space needed an identity and definitive logo. Lauren created these logos and designs for the space:

She then create a wonderful lesson for the architecture students. They critiqued the work with her and she explained the design process, print process and presented the ideas. The students gave feedback and worked with the client to create the final design.

Lord & Taylor’s Charity Day

The BHS Fashion class sold tickets to Lord & Taylor's first annual Charity Day on Saturday, May 2, where they showcased their fashions. Each student in the Fashion Design class exhibited her best design. Charity Day is run by Lord & Taylor and is set up to benefit women's health organizations. Thank you to Rose Meade and Donna Gibson from Lord & Taylor (and Ms. Deacon from BHS) for helping to make this happen.

Middlesex County Arson Watch Poster Contest Winner Gati Aher

Congratulations to Marshall Simonds Middle School 8th grade art student Gati Aher who received second place in this years State 2015 Arson Watch poster contest.  Gati took first place in  the Middlesex County competition, winning $200 and a plaque. Her second place in the State competition earned her an additional $500 and a trophy.  Gati’s artwork will be featured in the 2016 Arson Watch calendar.

MSMS Art and Photography Field Trip

Marshall Simonds Middle School 7th and 8th grade students from Photo Club, Activity Block and art class embarked on a walking scavenger hunt throughout Boston yesterday. The trip began in Chinatown where  students walked through the streets toward Beacon Hill, the Common, up past TD Garden, down Prince Street and onto Hanover Street in the North End.  The trip ended with lunch at Quincy Market.  Below are a few of the great images students were able to capture. To view more images visit:

The Marble Collection’s Top 10 Submissions

Congratulations to Tatiana Hawkins for her recent photo “Can you see me?” which was selected to be

featured in this June’s “Top 10 Submissions” on The Marble Collection’s website! Each month, The Marble Collection chooses 10 submissions to be featured on their magazine’s homepage. Tatiana’s  work was selected from teen submissions from over 200 schools and community groups across the state.

The Marble Collection’s website can be found at:

Scholastic Art Awards National Ceremony

The 2015 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winners, accompanied by their families and teachers, were honored at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 11, 2015 for their artistic achievements by Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer McAllister (jennxpenn), Michelle Tan, Donald Lipski, and Chelsea Clinton.   Marshall Simonds Middle School was represented by Olivia Virgin, who received a Silver Key for her photograph entitled “Uncle Henry”.  Olivia’s was one of only sixteen photographs selected from Massachusetts.


Projects for the School and Community

As part of the final project for Introduction to Architecture, students were challenged with redesigning a space in the school. This year the class was assigned the Art Department office, which now includes a teacher’s lounge area/conference space. Introduction to Architecture students also worked on the Maker Space in the high school’s library, collaborating with technology specialist Jenn Scheffer.

Mr. Keith March-Mistler’s Digital Publishing students designed the yearbook cover, the covers for the high school’s program of studies and the athletic booster club program, the BHS senior class logo, the playbill and poster design for the school musical, a brochure for the Burlington Disability Access Commission, the logo for Francis Wyman Elementary School, graphics for the annual BEF road race, posters for the high school’s art exhibition, graphic designs for the floor of the high school’s gym, and fliers for the town’s annual Independence Day parade.

The juniors in the Portfolio class painted a mural to be installed in the Burlington Early Childhood Center (preschool) foyer.

Weaving Workshop by Alumnus Marissa Cote

The fashion class was visited by artist Marissa Cote (Class of 2013). Mr. Mistler was thrilled to have our former student back at BHS, switching her role from student to teacher. Marissa taught the fashion design students how to weave on homemade looms. She brought in a variety of materials to weave with (leather, felt, fabric, ribbon, and yarn, to name a few). The workshop was a complete success; Marissa was a natural teacher.

Marissa graduated from BHS in 2013. The Burlington community may remember Marissa as the star of the BHS musical production "Hairspray." During her time here at BHS, Marissa took many art courses and designed the 2013 yearbook cover. She went on to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for almost two years. There, Marissa expanded her creativity and conceptual designs. Today, Marissa has decided to transfer to another school and focus on fiber or textile design.

Snapchat Geofilter for Burlington by Web Design Students

Snapchat recently unveiled a new feature -- create your own geofilter! On the suggestion of sophomore Riley Gilberg, Mr. Keith Mistler gave the assignment to his web design classes. Snapchat has strict guidelines to follow, but students did a great job with their designs. We brainstormed what made Burlington a good town to live in, and also looked at Burlington imagery.

What is a Snapchat geofilter? Snapchat allows its users to take and send photographs to friends that will be viewed for up to 10 seconds. Snapchat allows you to use location-based filters. For example, you will see a different geofilter if you are in Billerica than the design in Burlington.

The denial emails from snapchat were a bit harsh but eye-opening for students. But in the end, sophomore Ed Stanton's design was a winner! His design is modern, hip, and relevant. So if you are ever in Burlington, Massachusetts, take a snapchat and slide on over to Ed's geofilter.

BHS Art in the News: How Do You Feel About Standardized Testing?

Drawing and Painting students in grades 10-12 were asked to create art describing how they FEEL about standardized tests. Ms. Christina Chang gave the students some old scantron sheets and offered drawing and painting materials. Ms. Chang’s blog post on the project was picked up by the Huffington Post and the Washington Post.

Cambridge Street Gallery

The year saw a few exhibitions in the high school’s art gallery. Cambridge Street Gallery is committed to providing exhibition space to BHS alumni artists, community members, students, and faculty. Exhibits included the drawings and paintings of Anne Zhang, Class of 2015, an installation by students in the Drawing & Painting class, a student printmaking exhibition, the paintings of guest artist Arnie Casavant, and dresses by the Fashion Design class. The gallery is contained in Burlington High School and is located across from the cafeteria.

College Art Majors

Brenna Tedesco will be majoring in Illustration at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Samantha Sheppard plans on majoring in graphic design or creative advertising at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Abigail Hogan will be majoring in Fashion Design and Production next year. She most likely will be attending Lasell College, but another option for her is Framingham State.

Kailee Abeshaus will be attending Cornell University and majoring in Fiber Science & Apparel Design.

Tristan Squeri will be majoring in Graphic Design at Mt. Ida College, with a possible minor in Game Design and Animation.

Trevor Arsenault will be majoring in Graphic Design at UMass Lowell.

Daniel Connolly will be majoring in Graphic Design at Endicott.

Jacob Moreira will be majoring in Graphic Design at UMass Dartmouth.

Allison Oliver will be majoring in Marketing and minoring in Graphic Design at Endicott.

Matthew Chan is going to UMASS Lowell, currently as Undeclared Liberal Arts, but he states there's a high chance he’ll be going into art, possibly graphic design.

Daniel Blouin is majoring in graphic design at Middlesex Community College.

Keri Cucinotta is minoring in photography at University of New Hampshire (and maybe majoring in Art Therapy).

Kelliann Keaney plans on majoring in Teaching and minoring in Photography or Graphic Design at Assumption College.

BHS Art Department Scholarships

Brenna Tedesco was selected by the BHS art faculty to receive this year’s Vickie Graham award. Brenna will be majoring in Illustration at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The Vickie Graham award is a scholarship generously funded by the family of former BHS art student Vickie Graham. Brenna also was selected to receive the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Book Award at the high school’s annual junior book award ceremony.

There were three BHS Art Department Scholarships given this year. The $400 awards were given to these students, who plan on pursuing degrees in one of the visual arts:

Samantha Sheppard will be majoring in graphic design or creative advertising at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Abigail Hogan will be majoring in Fashion Design and Production next year. She most likely will be attending Lasell College, but another option for her is Framingham State.

Kailee Abeshaus will be attending Cornell University and majoring in Fiber Science & Apparel Design.

The BHS Artistic Development Award, a $400 award to a student who has distinguished himself or herself with continuous and consistent artistic growth and development, was given to Daniel Connolly. Dan is planning on majoring in Graphic Design at Endicott.


The high school’s new darkroom, built last year, and the new studio for the fashion design class are proving to be great additions to the high school art program. Two Macintosh labs at the high school continue to provide students with exciting possibilities in the computer graphics field. The Digital Arts, Graphic Design, Digital Publishing and Web Design courses continue to utilize the equipment and graphics programs, and a good percentage of the photography curriculum gets taught in the labs. Many of the works created in the labs go on to publication as posters, banners, and program covers for the graduation ceremony, the school musical, and the high school’s Program of Studies. Several of the artworks that earned recognition in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards were created in this lab. Classes continue to use the Makerbot 3D printer that was funded last year through a grant from the Burlington Education Foundation.


This year Sarah Baldwin joined our ranks. Ms. Baldwin had this to say about her background and teaching goals for Marshall Simonds Middle School this year:

“I am excited to be teaching art here at Marshall Simonds! This will be my first year in Burlington but my tenth year teaching; I recently moved back to Massachusetts from Maryland, where I taught grades 7-12 art at the Jemicy School, a small school for students with dyslexia outside of Baltimore. Previously, I also taught Art and English at the Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, MA. My teaching career has also included coaching a variety of sports including rock climbing, field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse.

“This year, my art students will be expanding and fine-tuning their skills with a variety of materials in the art room. One of my main goals is to get students to realize that making successful art is about practicing a set of learnable skills, and that anyone can be an artist. Art is not something that just a select few are capable of; time and practice will allow any individual to make effective art.  Currently, my students in all grades are broadening their repertoire of drawing skills–the 6th graders are learning about shading and drawing from observation, the 7th graders are gaining the skills needed to make portraits, and the 8th graders are learning about linear perspective while making drawings of interior spaces. As the year progresses, they will continue to develop skills with paint, clay, and other materials while also exploring techniques for conveying ideas in the art they make. I’m looking forward to getting to know students, teachers, and families in the Burlington community throughout the year!”

Ms. Christina Chang participated as a judge in the selection of a poster design for this year’s poster contest co-sponsored by Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. and Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. Students living or attending school in Middlesex County were invited to submit poster designs on the topic “I’m Worth More” which includes being in a healthy relationship, standing up to peer pressure, celebrating differences, and demonstrating self-respect and respect for others. The judging took place in January in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office in Woburn.

In March and April, Mr. Ratkevich worked with other art and music directors from throughout Massachusetts on creating “crosswalks” to align the new National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) with content from the 19999 Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Frameworks (MACF).

On Saturday, March 28, Ms. Christina Chang and English teacher Ms. Judy Crossman brought our “Creative Minds of Burlington” to the fourth annual  Tenacity Team Challenge at Bedford High School. The Tenacity Team Challenge is an academic team scholarship competition for Latino and African American students, and it is sponsored by the Greater Boston Students of Color Achievement, METCO, Inc., METCO Directors Association, and Bedford High School. It is an inter-district competition involving high schools from the Greater Boston area. Teams prepared collaboratively to compete in four events: Science/Math Knowledge Quiz Bowl; Literature and Film Analysis; Social Studies Argument; and Artistic Tenacity Banner. More information can be found at: . The students on the Burlington High School team were Souleiman Benhida, John Francis Hornicek, Julian Lechner, Jovan Sematimba, Eric Kaweesa , and Gianni Newman.

Ms. Chang was awarded a Ruth Halvorsen Professional Development Grant from the Board of Trustees of the National Art Education Foundation to attend the Art New England Summer Workshop through Massachusetts College of Art.

At the high school, Ms. Lexi Djordjevic serves as the advisor of the Photography Club. Mr. Keith March Mistler serves as co-advisor for the school’s yearbook. Mrs. Joanne Vigneau continues to serve as an assistant softball coach. Ms. Christina Chang continues to serve as the advisor for Students for Asian Cultural Awareness and advises the Art Club.

Ms. Laura Phillips, with Marshall Simonds Middle School teacher Susan Russo-Rogers, co-advised the Photography Club at Marshall Simonds, and also ran a Photography camp at the middle school this summer, which they are running again this summer. Ms. Phillip’s and Ms. Russo-Rogers’ popular camp has filled up for this summer.    

At Francis Wyman, Ms. Betty Kerr has greatly appreciated the help of Shabari Khaire, a former art teacher from Mumbai, India, who is volunteering with Grade 3, 4, and 5.

Family Show: Retired BHS Art Teachers

In May, retired Burlington High School art teachers Lorraine Sullivan and Philip Young, along with their daughter Jessie Young (an art teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin), had a family art exhibition at the Atrium Gallery of the State Transportation Building in Boston.

Professional Development

Art teachers dedicated many hours of professional development to the development and trial implementation of District-Determined Measures, as well as to learning new techniques in printmaking. Ms. Christina Chang took a class in AP Portfolio Course Development at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Other art teachers, including Ms. Betty Kerr, Mrs. Joanne Vigneau, Mr. Keith Mistler, Ms. Chang, and Ms. Lexi Djordjevic, enrolled in professional development opportunities from Teachers as Scholars, Primary Source, which promotes history and humanities education by connecting educators to people and cultures throughout the world, the Art of Ed (online), and Initiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement for Students (IDEAS), a merger of two past EDCO programs – Empowering Multicultural Initiatives (EMI) and Greater Boston Students of Color Achievement Network (GBSOCAN). This year, Burlington is offering EMI/ IDEAS district- training for faculty and classes.

Summer Art Studio for Educators

Ms. Christina Chang will be running our first summer art studio for educators this July. It is free for all public school teachers. In the four-day studio workshop,  participants will find their inner artists and develop a variety of skills. Activities and projects will change from day to day, and they will include drawing, painting, printmaking, and the use of different media. This workshop is appropriate for all levels, from those who have little or no experience to veteran artists and art educators, who can use the time for their own personalized artistic development using the classroom's equipment. As time allows, educators can discuss how to apply art skills and content to standards-based learning on other topics in the regular classroom setting.

Friends of the Burlington High School Art Department

The Friends of the Burlington High School Art Department, a booster club headed by parent volunteer Rosalyn Minassian,  organized a number of activities and events throughout the school year, which included a few fall fundraisers and a raffle to raise funds for the department’s scholarship fund for graduating seniors enrolling in art, design, photography and architecture programs in college. The drawing was held at the high school’s 42nd annual art exhibition (and 3rd annual fashion show) in March. Mrs. Minassian enrolled several corporate sponsors in our efforts, including Salem Five Bank, Panera, b.good, Orange Leaf, and Macy’s. The money raised went to fund four $400 scholarships for graduating seniors this year.

On the Web

The department’s web presence has become stronger than ever. All high school teachers and many of the elementary and middle school teachers have their own blogs and websites that they use to teach students and to share student work and art-related events. The high school also has its own website,, and a facebook page, . The district art department has a website to be used as a resource for teachers in lesson planning, curriculum development, and evaluation: . More details on the activities and events noted in this report may be found on one of these sites, or on individual teachers’ blogs:

Mr. Scarpulla (Fox Hill):

Ms. Kerr and Mrs. Finkle (Francis Wyman):

Ms. York (Memorial):

Ms. Fallon (Pine Glen):

Ms. Phillips (Marshall Simonds Middle School):

Ms. Chang (Burlington High School):

Mr. Mistler (Burlington High School):

Mrs. Vigneau (Burlington High School):

Ms. Djordjevic (Burlington High School): and

Mr. Ratkevich (Burlington High School):

Respectfully submitted,

George Ratkevich

Visual Arts Program Coordinator

Burlington Public Schools


Our photography classes are looking for do- nations of manual single-lens reflex cameras to supplement our current equipment, as because of their heavy usage some of our cameras have been damaged over the years. If you’ve made the switch to digital, and would like to give your old equipment a good home, look no further.

Wanted: Cameras


We are looking to form a fundraising organization for the visual arts at Burlington High School. This organization would be independent of the school system. It would provide opportunities for students to raise money for items and events not currently funded by the system’s budget. These might include such things as out-of-state field trips, printed t-shirt production, artists’ notecard production, scholarships, and exhibitions at local businesses. Come with your ideas. Interested parents and community members should please contact us at 781.273.7024.

Call for Interest

BHS alumnus Laura Allegretto, who studied Graphic Design at the Massachusetts College of Art, shared her talents by creating the first Art Department t-shirt. The cost is $10. If you’d like to order a T-Shirt, contact Ms. Christina Chang at or by phone in the art department office: 781.273.7024.

“Art is...” T-Shirts


(C) 2015 Burlington High School Art Department

Burlington High School Art Department    123 Cambridge Street     Burlington, MA   01803     781.273.7024


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