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West Caldwell Tech Students Showcase Artwork at Library

Original pencil sketches are on display at public library through this week.

The original art works include hand drawn sketches of an eagle, a convertible, penguins, dogs, and a portrait of a little girl. 

For the month of March, the framed shaded pencil drawings have been on display at the . The art display is the result of a project between the library and art students at , part of Essex County’s Vocational Technical Schools.

The students took an art workshop with Jerry Winick, a pencil sketch artist who has a studio in Little Falls. During the weekly workshops, Winick taught the students the finer points of drawing—including shapes and form and shading. 

“He started us off and we had to finish the rest by ourselves,” said 15-year-old La-Deja Coker of Newark. “It was fun. It was our first time.” 

Coker’s picture is of a little girl and she admits that it's from a photograph of her as a small child. Tashawn Woods, 15, of Irvington, said he’d always enjoyed drawing, but learned new techniques from Winick. “It was interesting because he showed me some new ways of shading—of making things lighter and darker,” Woods said. “It made it come to life.”

Teacher Marianne Cavallo said the workshop was a positive experience for the students, many of whom had never taken an art class before, or been part of a gallery display. “He was wonderful,” she said of Winick. “The students felt good about themselves ... I was so proud of them.”

It was Cindy Corbett and Sandy Coughlin, two senior library assistants, who connected the students with Winick after they saw the teenagers admiring the artist’s work. Once they learned he was willing to have a workshop with the students, they approached Library Director April Judge and the public library picked up the cost of the workshop. 

“We were really excited about the talent that became evident in this class,” said Judge. “They did such a fantastic job.” 

Visitors to the library can also comment on the art works, jotting down their thoughts in a notebook near the display. Principal Chetram Singh remarked, “I am very impressed with the art work.” 

Student Kenneth Tanner, 16, of Orange, said he will remember the artist workshop for a long time. His picture of a horse is on display at the library. “It was a learning experience. I learned to shade to make it more realistic. It’s really cool ... If you put an effort (into it) you can do it.”

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