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Stamford Students Show Their Style As Part Of Black History Month Exhibit

Kimberlyn McKoy, left, assistant curator for Picture That, and Liz Squillace, an assistant at Picture That, installing a show of student art work at the Palace Theatre.
Kimberlyn McKoy, left, assistant curator for Picture That, and Liz Squillace, an assistant at Picture That, installing a show of student art work at the Palace Theatre. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- As part of Black History Month a collection of student art will be presented at the Palace Theatre in Stamford.

Titled "Defined by Fashion," the exhibit opens with a reception Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Palace Theatre's Sackler Gallery.

Valerie Cooper, owner of Stamford-based Picture That, a fine-art consulting firm that installs art work for businesses and institutions such as hospitals, has been an integral part of the program since it began.

"It is my way to give back to the community at large and to the youth at large," she said.

Her firm, along with the Palace Theatre and corporate supporter, GE Asset Management, have collaborated on the exhibit.

Cooper said most of her work is with corporations or large institutions such as hospitals. Participating in this program allows her to interact with students and help them learn more about art.

The Student Cultural Arts and Literary Program provides students from grades K-12 the opportunity to exhibit artwork in an art gallery and network with professional artists for mentoring purposes.

This year’s theme encourages students to discover their own meaning of “fashion” through their artwork while exploring black culture. Their pieces will allude to the unique trends in fashion, style, and spiritual traditions of the African, African-American, and/or Caribbean cultures.

The student artwork will include fashion sketches, urban fashion, black religious attire, runway themes, fashion influenced by black music, and black fashion drawn from different time periods.

Each student will write a paragraph and or a poem that describes their artwork that will accompany their piece. They may write about something they were inspired by, what fashion means to them, or a trend in black fashion that they particularly like. Select students will be invited to read their passages during the reception and will receive special recognition for their extra effort. All participating students will be recognized and receive a "Certificate of Participation."

This opening reception Sunday is open to the public and is free of charge. It will be a time for all attendees to view the exhibition for the first time, evoke conversation, share ideas, and ultimately celebrate black history.

The show continues through March 22.

The Palace Theatre is located at 61 Atlantic St. in downtown Stamford.

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