Elementary school students from P.S. 75 and P.S. 145 had their colorful collages, water color paintings and crayon drawings selected for an exhibit at the library, the first of its kind at the library, which is located on Broadway between West 113th and West 114th streets.
The 30 pieces by the students, on display in the stairwell and in the community room, are part of a program called Studio in a School, which pairs students from underserved schools with working artists to foster their artistic development.
Thaddeus Krupo, the manager at the Morningside Heights Library, said the exhibit opening in February was mobbed.
"There were about 50 or 60 kids here and the parents said, ‘Hey that’s your stuff hanging on the wall,’" he said.
"People came to the library who haven’t been in the library in a long long time," said Krupo, adding that parents who visited saw the library in a new light. "It’s not that quiet little place it was. It’s more of a community center."
Krupo said the exhibit, which Krupo said transforms the library's blank white walls, may be extended another week through March 11.
Artist Kelly Martin mentored students from P.S. 75 while artist Chelsea Manifold worked with children from P.S. 145.
Fran Van Horn, executive director at Studio in a School, said the work is usually displayed inside of the schools as part of a end-of-year show.
"I think what’s wonderful about this show is the self-expression. Every single piece is unique," said Van Horn.
Studio in a School works with 150 schools across the city with at least 80 artists, Van Horn said.
"The kids are really learning to look and to think about what they do. They know it’s a risk free environment. It’s the one time during the school day that they can have that freedom," said Van Horn.
Van Horn said teachers champion art that comes from the students' imagination and from observing the world.
"Especially as testing and the common core is being inculcated, this is a chance for them to be truly creative," said Van Horn.
Morningside Heights Library, 2900 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
HOURS: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sundays.