Little, and Learning to Be Artists

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Studio_School_3Copyright Elsa Ruiz Celine Lubin made this sculpture of the head of an elephant, now on display as part of the Studio in a School exhibition at Studio Gallery. She’s a first-grade student at Hellenistic Classical Charter School in Brooklyn.

A new exhibition displaying art by New York City public school students opened Tuesday at Studio Gallery in Midtown Manhattan.

The show, called "Littlest Learners," features the work of prekindergarten through second-grade students from 25 schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Michaile Brooks, a University of Illinois at Chicago graphic design student visiting New York, walked into the gallery, at 1 East 53rd Street, after seeing a blue-and-red block print depicting a bird made by Arely Bravo, a second-grade student at Public School 123 Suydam in Brooklyn.

"This picture is just sheer joy," she said. "I think that's something that we forget, you know, the older we get. We forget the sheer joy of creation and play. I really like the colors and the shapes."

Ms. Brooks added that she liked the exhibit's focus on arts education.

"One of the first things that is always on the chopping block is arts and music," she said. "So whenever I see things like this, it always makes me happy because it makes me realize at least somebody recognizes the importance of art and expression in children's lives."

The student artists made the 53 drawings, paintings and sculptures on view with the help of Studio in a School, a nonprofit organization that provides arts instruction to students at 110 Title I schools in the five boroughs.