NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Elementary school students from across the District visiting the exhibit of colorful 3-D Charles Fazzino works at New Rochelle High School were more than art aficionados - they also got to be, in a sense, apprentices.
Students from Columbus, Davis, Jefferson, Trinity, Ward and Webster elementary schools spent time in the museum. Once they had looked at a few of the distinctive cityscapes, Super Bowl tributes and other pieces in the Museum of Arts & Culture, they got to try hands-on activities. Some added layers of cutouts to a couple of the works laid out on tables. Guided by artists from Fazzino's publishing company, they squeezed out pea-sized dollops of silicone glue - a special formula custom-made in Belgium - and then carefully placed detailed cutouts on top.
Other students created a cityscape mural based on Fazzino's work, adding Fazzino-like touches including kites, taxis and hot air balloons.
In one of the visits, Trinity Elementary School fifth-graders filed in gushing "Whoa!" and "Look at this one!" as they rushed to take close-up looks.
"I think it's kind of inspiring because it shows you can make art not just with paint but with imagination and cardboard," said student Sameira Brown.
Fazzino's staff has invited people to try the hands-on exercise in events in France, Germany, England and Greece. New Rochelle students, lucky enough to call Fazzino their neighbor, were treated to the opportunity to create the works in their community.
"They look really cool," said Trinity student Sophia Pedroza. "It's three-D. They're popping out."
Julie Maner, director of business affairs for Fazzino's publishing company, said students take to the art because the works are easily likeable.
"It's got the 'wow' factor," she said. "It expands their minds thinking about something that they can do and appreciate."
Trinity student Derek Shemer had some thoughts about what it must take to create the highly detailed works.
"Patience," he said. "Lots of patience, because it probably takes forever to put them on perfectly."
Brown may have hit on the secret to the appeal of Fazzino's work.
When you look at it, it makes you happy," she said. "It has so much color and pop to it."
The exhibit is open to the public through the end of November. For information, visit www.nredfund.org.
The last day of extended hours is Nov. 29 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.