Welcome Spring!

The April Newsletter lifts up some of the outstanding young artists in the community, some of the programs which celebrate young people’s art work, and a new program being initiated for young people. 
Youth are our future. Young people are very much the present.  How do we empower them and give them practice having a voice in the decisions which shape our world?

The article on Cazenovia Earth Week, April 17th – 25th,  is all about recognizing the present, and valuing the future.
CazArts Newsletter is here to be a gathering place for the arts, a place of conversation and local community.  CazArts invites artists, organizations, and supporters of the arts to help us build this community.  Please consider becoming a member.


Our Community

The Show did go on!
           by Katherine Rushworth

"A Walk to Remember"
Natalie Garrow
Scholastic Art Awards

Students from the Cazenovia School District (CSD) made quite an appearance at the Central New York 2021 Scholastic Art Awards, though there wasn’t an awards ceremony this year, or a physical exhibition.

Overall entries for this year’s Scholastic Art Awards were about half of what they were in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID 19 on classroom instruction. Judging was done remotely, but organizers were able to mount a virtual exhibition. The 45 judges made almost 600 awards. CSD students claimed seven Gold Key Awards, three Silver Key Awards, and eight Honorable Mentions, with a couple of students taking home top awards. The Gold Key top awards will be submitted to the national competition for judging later this spring.


 Natalie Garrow

Senior Natalie Garrow earned the coveted American Visions Award, recognizing the “Best of Show” for all Gold Key Artwork, for her digital photograph titled, “A Walk to Remember.” She said she took the photo during a visit to the 911 Memorial on Staten Island.

“I saw the person walking between the two walls and I found it intriguing,” she says.

Garrow’s instructor, Adam Reynolds, says working with Garrow is like coaching.
“Natalie loves taking photos and with me, it’s me just watching what she’s doing,” Reynolds explains. “We’re along for the ride. It’s coaching a little bit. It’s fun. It’s like solving a puzzle.”

Junior Melanie Michael earned the Tracy L. Haylor Craftsmanship Award for her dry point print titled “Hotel Pateria"  ” She says she was drawn to the image when sorting through some resource materials.

"Hotel Pateria"                   
Melanie Michael               
“It (the image) had a nice angle to it,” she explains, “and it was very defined.”

Michael’s work has what her instructor, Julianne Frear, looks for when selecting work for submission to the Scholastic Art Awards.

“For me, it’s something that is going to be original,” Frear states. “Obviously technique is important, but artistic voice is important to me. Melanie’s piece was part of a class project in dry point and Melanie’s had more of a voice to it.”

“I didn’t really like this piece that much,” Michael comments, “but Mrs. Frear said we should submit it.”

The rest, as they say, is history.


Melanie Michael 

The works submitted to the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards were created during the spring of 2020. The deadline for submission is in December and with classes not starting until September, coupled with the challenges of remote instruction this year, Frear says they looked to earlier work for consideration.

Instructors begin talking about the Scholastic Art Awards when students are in ninth grade. It’s a goal they point towards each year. It’s a way for teachers and students to measure themselves against what other art programs and students are doing throughout Central New York. This year 70 junior and senior high schools from 13 counties participated.

“I kept a folder or a mental list of pieces that would be appropriate,”              
Frear explains of her selection process.               
“I tell them this is sectionals for art students,” Reynolds states. He also coaches soccer and modified track.
It’s heartening to hear Frear and Reynolds talk about the support they receive from the district for their arts programs. There are small entry fees for each work or portfolio, which the district has continued to cover during these challenging times.

“We are pretty well funded here and Cazenovia is very supportive of the arts,” Frear explains.  Although they’ve had to cut sections due to faculty attrition, which means bigger classroom sizes and fewer offerings, Advanced Placement (AP) Art is still on the menu for interested students.

  “The district is very supportive. No question,” affirms Reynolds.             

Michael, who studied art in her freshman and sophomore years, had to pass this year due to scheduling conflicts.

“I really missed it this year,” she comments. “I hope to take AP Art next year.”

Garrow, who graduates in June, is headed to SUNY Maritime College where she’ll be studying Marine Biology.

While art might or might not be in the long-term plans for these students, these awards have an impact on their self-confidence and self-esteem. Pointing to the Scholastic Art Awards encourages students to build year-to-year on their technical skills and to cultivate that unique voice Frear looks for in their work. Simply entering the competition validates an interest and promotes progress.

“I felt the award was something really special,” Garrow states. “I never received an award before.”

Michael echoes those sentiments.
“It’s (the award) is really special,” she says. “I received Silver Key Awards in the past years and this year it was a Gold Key. It showed me that I was improving.”

Congratulations to all the Cazenovia School District Scholastic Art Awards recipients:

Gold Key: Olivia Emerson, Photography; Natalie Garrow, Photography (2); Madeline McGreevy, Photography; Melanie Michael, Printmaking; Elora Wilmot, Mixed Media; Molly Wright, Photography.

Silver Key: Lili Gavitt, Drawing & Illustration; Mae Sayre, Photography; Molly Wright, Photography.

Honorable Mention: Mia Chesbrough, Regan Dauenhauer, Caryn Gagnon, Natalie Garrow, Mae Sayre, Elora Wilmot, Molly Wright (2).

Photos & article by Katherine Rushworth
Katherine Rushworth, of Cazenovia, is a free lance writer,  former director of the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center (State University College at Fredonia) and of the Central New York Institute for the Arts in Education. 

Supporting the arts in surprising ways

 Steve Cook                 

There are wonderful little “aha” moments in life, and sometimes one moment can unexpectedly lead to another.  And so, finding out about the  Stephen G Cook Musical Scholarship Award was such a moment, and finally after following one lead, to another, to…this morning  -- I find myself meeting and having a warm telephone conversation with the delightful Marti Cook. 
As we talk, her story of memories, celebration, grief, hope, community,  and the love she has for her son, Stephen, lights up my morning conversation.  
Stephen had loved and thrived in the Cazenovia High School Music program, going on to attend the Berklee School of Music.  He then returned to Central New York, working as a chief, and playing in local bands.  He died unexpectedly in 2008.
Dull with the grief, Marti -- with the help of Steve’s two best friends -- started the musical scholarship award to recognize, encourage and help outstanding Cazenovia music students in their continued  studies. 
Thirteen years later, Marti tells me of her surprise that after thirteen years the scholarship is still going strong.  The two friends started a golf tournament to support the scholarship, and each year around the 4th of July  the  Cooker Cup Tournament fundraises for the scholarship.
Years ago, Stephen excited and inspired Cazenovia with his spirit and musical talent.  There is still the occasional video of him performing at 15, and an active memorial Facebook page.  Today the Stephen G Cook Music Scholarship Award, Marti says,  sort of pays that forward.  Last year the award was given to Jonathan Benn, who has gone on to  major in Music Education at Nazareth College with a minor in Dance.  Music Education… becoming a teacher.  Sometimes one moment will unexpectedly lead to another.

Steve Cook                           



It all starts with a dream!
CazArts Youth Challenge ‘21

The CazArts Programming Committee is excited to launch a CazArts YOUTH CHALLENGE ‘21: WHAT SHAPES YOUR DREAMS. Drawing upon the creative talents and ambitions of Cazenovia-area K-12 students, the goal of this initiative is to inspire and showcase all submitted works on the CazArts website. Distinctions and awards for outstanding entries will be announced in mid-July, as well as plans for the public to view these works via exhibition and presentation.*
Whether home-schooled or attending a private or public school locally, students are invited to submit digital entries during the month of May in the following categories, including but not limited to: photography, graphic art, fine art, written word, digital arts, video, musical composition, musical performance, dance and performance art. Individuals and team entries (up to four total team members) are encouraged, and there is no cost to submit an entry.

Detailed information about types of entries, individual and team categories and digital submission specifications are now accessible on the Projects Page of the CazArts website ( Interested parties are also encouraged to attend a free Zoom informational session on Tuesday, April 27 at 7 PM; registration details to join this meeting will be announced in mid-April.
Our collective future will be shaped in great measure by the creative promise and aspirations of our youth, and in that spirit, we energetically welcome the interest and participation of Cazenovia area youth in WHAT SHAPES YOUR DREAMS.

*Public exhibition and presentation will be offered to the extent possible and allowed within the late-summer and early-fall pandemic constraints.

Barbara Bartleltt of Cazenovia,  is a Board Member of CazArts






 Taped to our refrigerator

By Bob Hood

The ‘artwork’ from our grandchildren that is taped on to our refrigerator is a soothing reminder of the love and joy that we share together.
Like so many friends and neighbors, I have been feeling the stress and fatigue from the pandemic and political divisiveness we have been experiencing. In my own way and within our circle of friends, I have found peace in the art around me.  I have always felt that within each one of us, there is a story or a poem; a song or a drawing; a creative expression of what we are feeling and want to share with others. In a very real sense our own ‘art work’ can be healing and inspirational both to us as well as to others.
Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem inspired me to write my very first poem.
            It doesn’t have to be this way, so much anger, so much hurt
            We can forge a better way, and show what we are worth
            We can practice truth, in all we say and do
            We can promise not to lie, and speak only what is true
            We can practice respect, we can pray to God above
            And give the gift we all desire, we can practice love
            We have experienced a great darkness, through a long, disturbing night
            Someone else can’t change how we feel, each one of us must see the light
            We can practice truth, in all we say and do
            We can promise not to lie, and say only what is true
Neighbors on Hurd Street often described the pies that Tom Burkly’s Mom made as being ‘works of art.’  The ladies who meet at Common Grounds to knit and visit together, create sweaters and scarves while sharing and enjoying the art of socializing; this is art, too. 
John Denver’s music inspired me to learn to play the guitar and to lead singing at parties and around campfires with friends.  It has been said that ‘singing is praying twice’, and we know that prayer can be healing and inspirational. 


I had a beautiful experience of this a few years ago when I went with a friend to visit his wife who was in a nursing home, dealing with dementia.  He and his wife were owners of a summer camp where I taught water skiing and often led campers in singing songs in the dining hall.  His wife had been unresponsive for months, and he was visibly sad that she no longer knew him.  I was at a loss for what to say or do, and as I sat by her bed, I was inspired to begin singing camp songs.  Shortly after I started singing Kumbaya, a camp favorite,  she began singing along…word for word.  The three of us sang through our tears and as she held both of our hands tightly, and all three of us experienced healing.
For students: art encourages problem solving skills; art helps them to learn to read better; art provides a pathway for dealing with anxiety, social challenges and depression; and art helps students adjust to the challenges and pressures of growing up.  If more parents were aware of the valuable role of art in the education and well-being of their children, art and art instruction would receive more support in our schools.



The healing power of Art is within each one of us.  The process of creating Art, especially with others: stimulates the mind; improves memory and cognitive skills; relieves anxiety and depression; and has proven to slow the advanced dementia.  Our Cazenovia community has many wonderful venues and people to help us create more art and artists.  Imagine how healing it would be if we were to discover and share the artistic gifts within each one of us!


Bob Hood, of Cazenovia, was a successful real estate developer before both starting Common Ground here in Cazenovia,  and starting the Kara Hood Community Center in Haiti as part of his ongoing humanitarian work there.  He continues to find unique ways to support the arts.

April 17th – April 25th 2021

Cazenovia Earth Week will involve over 20  community groups that are coming together to celebrate the wonderful and beautiful place where we live, to educate ourselves about what we have, and actions to take in our homes, neighborhoods and community to save our planet.
This year we are celebrating trees for their beauty, the valuable role they play in the environment, and the value their wood contributes in our daily lives.  
 As a community, we are still living in the shadows of the pandemic and every person has faced similar struggles.   Honoring this 51st Earth Week it is more important than ever - to enjoy, work hard, and celebrate together as we take care of our planet. 


Cazenovia Earth Week ~ April 17 – 25

 8 ongoing events throughout the week, click link here
4 outdoor events , click link here
4 online events, click link here

Full Schedule, links, and preregistration
Click Link Here






CazArts Newsletter:
April 2021
Editor: Geoffrey Navias
Copy editor: Kristi Andersen
Production consultant: Shawn McGuire
Subscriptions:  Cathy Savage

Photographs by Geoffrey Navias

CazArts Board:
Barb Bartlett, Samara Hannah, Lauren Lines, Shawn McGuire, Geoffrey Navias,
Buzz Padgett,  Colleen Prossner, Cathy Savage, Kim Waale


All inquiries, feedback, ideas for future articles: 
Creative Alliance

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