As an art teacher at Westwood High School Jamaica Plain resident Lucy Harackiewicz knows a thing or two about being a mentor to students. Fittingly, her work was recently featured in a New York City exhibit that highlighted artists who are also teaching in the classroom.
The exhibit, Artists & Mentors, was on display from Sept. 4 to Sept. 29 in a partnership between Golden Artist Colors and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the latter of which is presenters of the Scholastic Art & Writing Award. Since 2014 the Golden Artist Colors has sponsored three teachers whose students received recognition in the Scholastic Awards to attend a two-week residency program hosted at the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation, and Harackiewicz was selected to participate in the residency program in 2017.
“My best school memories are of making art – and I hope my students will make memories like that too. If you’re my student, I always ask you to consider yourself an artist, to make decisions the way an artist does," said Harackiewicz in the exhibit's catalogue. "It means embracing this confusing idea that there is usually more than one answer to a question. It means using the unintentional results of something you’ve made for something better than you originally intended. Artists get to exploit their mistakes - this can be very liberating! I think students like this idea, and it comes directly from my own studio practice.”
Harackiewicz's two works "The Source" and "Middle Distance" were both made with acrylic and paper on board.
She described her paintings:
The paintings are nonverbal conversations (or arguments), and to me, at once familiar and strange. One element needs another; one element needs to be abolished; one thing wins in the end. These conversations remain open ended for some period of time. If they settle and quiet, chances are they are finished, that is, complete. Two issues will keep the conversation going indefinitely - the impossibility of color - and the fight between ‘drawing’ and ‘painting’ in the work. Color can look ugly - it can still be right. Drawing and painting can coexist in equilibrium, but does one dominate? Since drawing is often dominant I endeavor to get the pure painting parts out in front.
Harackiewicz has an impressive career and portfolio. She earned her BFA at School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and her MSAE at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Along with the Golden Educator Residency in 2017, she was a fellow at Skidmore College, and twice a TICA (Teacher Institute in Contemporary Art) participant at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has show her work at JP Open Studios, the Westwood Public Library, the Arnheim Gallery at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Museum School Annual Sale, Skidmore College and the Centerpoint Gallery in Brookline. She has also taught high school studio art and photography for 18 years.