The school year has ended, but celebrations are just beginning for Scarlett Falu, a student from P.S. 46, Old Town. Scarlett’s artwork is now featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s P.S. Art: Celebrating the Creative Spirit of NYC Kids showcase, which exhibits artwork from NYC public school students.
The adorable 8-year-old is the first Staten Island elementary-school student since 2019 to be a finalist in the P.S. Art exhibition. Her work is on display now until Oct. 23, 2022.
Being Featured in the P.S. Art Exhibit
Scarlett’s featured artwork is a portrait of Mae C. Jemison, an American physician and the first Black woman to become an astronaut. In 1992, she spent more than a week orbiting Earth in the space shuttle Endeavour.
Using pencil, colored pencil and marker, Scarlett created a vibrantly colored celestial-themed portrait of Jemison in her astronaut uniform. The masterpiece is displayed alongside 122 other pieces in the exhibition created by NYC public school students.
“I want viewers to feel like my artwork means something as a part of history, and I want them to feel like they’re taking a trip through time,” Scarlett said. “I have always enjoyed art since I started school. It makes me feel happy, and I have a lot of support from my family.”
Artworks on display at P.S. Art were chosen from more than 800 submissions, spanning mediums including painting, mixed media and sculpture. The final art pieces were selected by a panel of distinguished members of the New York City art community, including staff at The Met.
Art in School
Gerard Ucelli, Scarlett’s art teacher at P.S. 46, helped his students work on projects throughout the year. His students, who are all in kindergarten through fifth grade, use crayons, markers, card stock paper and other materials to create their works. During Black History Month, students learned about influential figures whose accomplishments inspired future generations, Ucelli said.
Students also learned line techniques inspired by the alphabet. When Scarlett finished her drawing of Jemison, she looked at images of outer space to inspire the color palette of her background.
According to Ucelli, Scarlett’s work as a young artist stands out as remarkable.
“Scarlett’s artistry has been outstanding to me since my first day as her art teacher,” Ucelli said. “Her attention to detail is astounding to process, especially at such a young age. I couldn’t be more proud of her and I want this milestone to create a pathway to more success as she gets older.”
The young artist’s mom, Ilena, said that her daughter loves to draw and is constantly inspired by her older sister, another talented artist in the family.
“When Scarlett sees her sister draw, she mimics her and copies her. She wants to be like her older sister,” Ilena said. “So when she won this competition, it was so sweet because her older sister was so proud of her.”
And of course, Ilena couldn’t be happier that her little girl is a featured artist at the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“I’m so proud of her. I get emotional when I think about it,” Ilena said.
This isn’t the first time Ucelli’s students have had a chance to be spotlighted in a major cultural institution. Earlier this year, his students featured their work in the Staten Island Children’s Museum’s “February” exhibit. Approximately 150 students participated in the project, which featured artwork honoring federal holidays and annual observances throughout the Month of February.
“As a new principal, I’ve been impressed with Mr. Ucelli’s commitment to our students and the art program here at P.S. 46, since the first day I entered the school building,” Heather Jansen, principal of P.S. 46, said. “His dedication and passion has inspired our students to channel their creativity and embrace their artistic talents. It’s this very dedication that motivates our students, like Scarlett, to express themselves through their artistic abilities. Every child has their own unique gifts. For some it’s math, for others it’s science – for Scarlett, it’s her ability to express herself through art. We’re very proud of Scarlett, and I know she will continue to shine at PS 46.”
About the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s P.S. Art Exhibit
This is the 20th year for the P.S. Art showcase. It features artwork by pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students, all from NYC public schools throughout the five boroughs. P.S. Art is a project of the New York City Department of Education and Studio in a School NYC.
“For the past 15 years, The Met has had the privilege of presenting these extraordinary artworks in an exhibition that honors emerging voices and the talents of young artists in New York City’s public schools,” Heidi Holder, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education at The Met, said. “This is a significant anniversary, at a significant time, when more and more we rely on art to help us make sense of a complex and uncertain world. We are proud to play a role in championing the city’s next generation of artists, and the schools, teachers, families, and communities that inspire and support them.”
What You Need to Know About Visiting The Met’s P.S. Art Exhibit
Where is the exhibit located?
P.S. Art is located at The Met Fifth Avenue in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. The address is 1000 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.
When is the exhibit open?
It is open during regular museum hours: Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday, 10am-5pm; Friday and Saturday, 10am-9pm; closed Wednesday. The exhibit runs through Oct. 23, 2022.
How much are tickets?
The exhibit is free with museum admission: $25; $17 seniors; $12 students; free for children younger than 12.
All of the works in the exhibition are featured on The Met website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #PSArt2022.