St. Mary’s Institute students stuck in art – The Daily Gazette


AMSTERDAM — Fourth-grader Lucy Marvain has always been interested in becoming a professional artist one day and when her artwork was selected to be made into a sticker, she developed the confidence to pursue her dream.

“Now I feel like I can do it,” Marvain said. “I was really surprised, I thought they were going to say someone else’s name.”

Students from St. Mary’s Institute Amsterdam submitted a variety of handmade artwork for the chance to have their design selected to be printed on a sticker in a competition organized by art teacher Sal Fringo in collaboration with Sticker Mule.

As a former SMI student himself, Fringo tries to develop lessons that would have been fun and engaging for him as a kid. He knew that giving his students in grades three through eight the chance to turn their artwork into a professionally printed sticker would be a hit.

“Our prize boxes are always filled with stickers,” Fringo said.

Sticker Mule was immediately on board when Fringo had the idea and agreed to print the selected sticker and give a tour of the Elk Street factory where stickers were born for the winning student’s entire class.

The students created a huge assortment of fantastical designs, according to Fringo, who said what distinguished the near-perfect recreation of Marvain from cartoon character Bart Simpson’s memoir was how perfectly it fit the mission.

“It had very clear cut lines that I knew would translate well to a sticker,” Fringo said. “Other submissions were fantastic, but maybe it would be better if they made it into a comic or a painting.”

With a sticker of his own creation in hand, Marvain and 11 classmates learned how stickers are made from start to finish at Sticker Mule on Wednesday.

Children were driven from station to station on the first floor of the factory to see the designs received digitally, sent to printers, cut and finally packaged for delivery.

All around the huge space, the students saw the making of a huge variety of stickers in all shapes, sizes, colors and graphics.

The kids were amazed by the production of an assortment of stickers, ranging from a colorful glazed donut bigger than their heads to Sticker Mule’s own badges that fit in their hands.

The tour served as a hands-on example of graphic design work that children could one day help create if they pursue a career in art.

“I think it encourages them seeing that not all artwork has to be the same,” Fringo said. “It’s something that will stick with them for a while, pun intended.”

Marvain is already brainstorming ideas for her future creative career which could one day see her create a comic about female superheroes. She hasn’t decided on her characters’ abilities yet, but she can feel her own artistic power after winning the sticker contest.

“It makes me feel more important,” Marvain said.

Contact Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.

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