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Exhibition To Feature Work Of Artists-In-Residence With Jowonio Children

SYRACUSE — Starting April 12, SUNY Oswego’s Syracuse campus in the Atrium on Clinton Square will present group work guided by artists-in-residence working from 2002-12 with children at Jowonio, an inclusive Syracuse preschool.

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SUNY Oswego’s Syracuse campus, 2 Clinton Square, will host an exhibition April 12 through June 15 of group projects of Jowonio children guided by artists-in-residence from 2002-12.

A free public artists’ reception will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at SUNY Oswego’s downtown gallery at 2 Clinton Square in Syracuse.

The exhibition will run through June 15.

Each project in the exhibition presents examples of group work, some with as few as 16 contributors and others as many as 48 individuals.

For a decade, Jowonio found grant funding for artists-in-residence projects, according to Iver Johnson, creative art resource teacher at Jowonio since 1989.

The annual projects — funded only for K-12 schools after 2012 — provided semester-long interaction between artists and Jowonio students, enriching the curriculum and providing a lasting impact on the visual culture of the school, located at 3049 E. Genesee St.

Artists-in-residence have included Barbara Furlong Drosse, Beth Abbott, Dan Reader, Karen Kearney (twice), J.P. Crangle, Kate Woodle, Maggie Church, Mary Faith Decker, Pam Johnson, Erin Murphy (twice) and Elizabeth Mauldenhower.

Projects carry such titles as “Cycles in Nature,” “Thinking Outside the Box,” “Environmental Space” and “The Owl Project.”

Jowonio’s mission is to provide inclusive programs for young children, where diversity is celebrated and all are free to learn and grow. It began in 1969 as an alternative school for children whose families wanted a more open and individualized approach than they felt they could find in a public setting.

The name “Jowonio” comes from the word in the Onondaga nation language that means “to set free.”

The school’s founders chose this name because they believed that education should free minds and emotions to learn and grow, also freeing individuals from stereotypes and prejudices.

From the beginning, Jowonio accepted a wide range of children, where typical children and children with special needs could learn in the same classrooms.

In 1989, Iver Johnson was hired as a part-time creative arts teacher and by the mid 1990s the role expanded to full-time.

SUNY Oswego’s Syracuse campus hosts a branch of Tyler Art Gallery, celebrating a rich mix of Central New York artists’ work in an ongoing series of exhibitions.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For variable evening and weekend hours, call 315-399-4100.