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Bayside pupils showcase their art in MS 158’s annual show

MS 158 students and art teachers Mario Asaro and Jessi Koenigsberg pose in front of one of many walls of artwork in the middle school's hallway. Photo by Tatiana Castellanos
TimesLedger Newspapers

Students and their families stood back and admired the artwork on the hallway walls of Bayside’s MS 158 Marie Curie last week.

The middle school’s seventh annual Senior Art Show was hosted by art teachers Mario Asaro and Jessi Koenigsberg.

Lined with more than 100 paintings, the middle school’s walls were plastered in self-portraits, still-lifes and landscape paintings.

Students in the school’s art program began in the sixth-grade and, as a reward, are able to display their artwork at the Senior Art Show when they reach the eighth-grade after being accepted into high school.

Every student who displayed his or her artwork will get medals and awards.

Though the art program has a total of about 60 students, only 14 students’ artwork was shown to visitors.

All of the students have already been accepted to high school, but only two out of the 14 will be going to specialized art schools.

The students are in the school’s Portfolio Club, dedicated to helping them build a strong art portfolio for high school. The club is run by Asaro at the middle school, located at 46-35 Oceania St.

Art program members, Portfolio Club attendees and MS 158 students Calise Jin and Courtney Chiu agreed that Asaro and Koenigsberg are a big part of the program, and they do everything they can to help students improve their work and learn as much as they can about art.

“They’ve helped us so much. They’re really amazing teachers and they’ve taught us a lot,” said Courtney, who will be going to Stuyvesant High School and hopes to become an engineer or dentist.

Calise, who will be going to Fiorello H. LaGuardia HS of Music & Art and Performing Arts, hopes to become a concept artist.

“Seeing all of my artwork on display really gives me a sense of pride,” said Calise. “Three years ago, if someone would have told me that I’d be going to LaGuardia HS, I would not have believed it. But here I am!”

Another eighth-grader, Anthony Lah, who is still juggling possible career paths such as architecture, photography or painting, felt immensely proud as he stood a few feet away from his art and appreciated his own work.

Lah will be joining Calise in attending LaGuardia.

“I feel really proud of myself — it all looks great,” said Anthony about his paintings.

Anthony also agreed with Calise and Courtney in that “the art teachers really loved and helped us a lot.”

“MS 158 rocks!” shouted senior Calise about the school.

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