WOODSTOCK — As the school year drew to a close, drawing students from The Woodstock Academy showcased artwork inspired by The Palmer Arboretum in Woodstock. 
Prior to the art show, students visited the Arbortum for a tour with Bill Brower, the Arboretum’s director’s board chair, and Philippa Paquette a member of the Arboretum’s committee and a trustee at The Woodstock Academy. Gloria Hanczar, art teacher at The Woodstock Academy, said “The students were captivated by the wealth of information provided.”
The Arboretum provided students with a compilation of trees, flowers, and shrubs in their collection of native plants. Students then researched the plants and completed several studies before crafting the final pieces for submission in the show. 
The arboretum committee invited local award-winning impressionist painter Barbara Lussier to judge the competition. Lussier was impressed with the standard of student work and noted the excellent instruction from Academy art teachers. In the end Lussier selected several pieces that stood out among the submissions.
Freshman Maximillian Bosio was honored with Best in Show for his landscape. Senior Yingnan Zhu won first place and sophomore Zhexaun Wu received second place. Three students, junior Lindsey O’Dea, freshman Jordyn Brousseau, and sophomore Kaylynn Lafemina, received honorable mention. 
The art show began four years ago to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Arboretum. Academy art teachers Susan LaGrow and Gloria Hanczar have both been involved in encouraging student submissions throughout the years. 
According to Paquette, “It was “a real eye opener for the students to see that we have this garden.” The Palmer Arboretum is nestled among the historic homes on Woodstock Hill on Rt. 169 and is just down the road from The Academy’s North Campus. In the words of Paquette, the public park is “peaceful and quiet” and is “a hidden gem” in Woodstock.
The proximity has provided many opportunities for collaboration between the Arboretum and The Academy. In addition to the art show, classes from The Academy often visit the Arboretum to enjoy the natural space and, in turn, many students offer their time to maintain the Arboretum’s grounds.
“We really love having the students come down” said Paquette. 
The art show celebrates the Palmer Arboretum and Woodstock’s native plants through the artistic talents of students. The artwork will be on display at Palmer Arboretum throughout the summer.
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