The Ponte Vedra Public Education Foundation held its annual student art show May 5 at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.
Expanding this year into an art show and festival, the event featured the local public schools’ top artwork made during the 2018-2019 school year. The work was selected by art teachers, and a live adjudication of Best in Shown honors by three pillars of the local arts community — local artist and art teacher Sharon Goldman, Florida State College at Jacksonville professor of art and community mural artist Dustin Harewood, and Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach community outreach advisor Angela de Gregory.
The event also featured performances by Ponte Vedra High School’s 17-piece jazz band, Nease High School’s jazz quartet and a troupe of dancers led by Nease alumnus Drue Williams. The high school bands were invited to showcase the schools’ music departments, and the dance trio was incorporated to illustrate the elegance of collaboration among the arts. Their Bob Fosse-inspired choreography by Miss Williams was performed in an improvisational delivery, set to match the tempo of jazz numbers that the two bands played. These dancers are current students at PV/PV Rawlings Elementary School, Landrum Middle School and Palm Valley Academy.
This expansion of the annual public celebration of Ponte Vedra’s student artists kicks off an expansion of the Foundation’s programming in support of public schools’ funding and resources for arts education. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the Foundation will add grants to music and drama departments at Ponte Vedra High School and Nease High School, engaging their ensembles to perform at local elementary and middle schools.
Also, traditional teacher mini-grants, fine art reference materials and the annual art show geared toward the schools’ art departments will feature a focus on cross-school education and activities. According to the Foundation, the aim is to give high school students a chance to present their arts and the rising students educational experiences from their esteemed upperclassmen. The mission is also to foster an arts community among Ponte Vedra public school students of all locales and ages.