Famous Artist™ Program


 Pablo Picasso is The Rye Arts Center’s featured Famous Artist for Fall 2015

October 21 & 22
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Visit our Famous Artists™ Website>>

Pablo Picasso (French, born in Spain (1881-1973) was both innovator and imitator. He was an accomplished painter, sculptor, draughtsman, and printmaker.  Coupled with MOMA’s fall 2015 exhibition of Picasso’s sculpture, RAC’s “Famous Artist” presentations will focus on the relationship between Picasso’s sculpture and painting throughout his career, as he explored new forms of artistic expression and interpretation.

Docent training sessions will consist of a professional lecture on Picasso’s life, work and times, as well as strategies for leading a successful interactive discussion for all classroom levels. Docents will learn how to present an art project that will enhance students’ understanding of Picasso’s manipulation of forms and spatial relationships. Supplemental materials include bibliographies, a listing of local collections where Picasso’s work is on view, and a description of the Elements of Art.

Older students and adults will learn in greater depth how Picasso’s art developed in relation to evolving theories of the fourth dimension, startling advances in X-ray technology and moving pictures (film) and as a reaction to the disruptions of war. From the spatial refractions of Cubism to the fantastical horrors of Surrealism to the cultural ironies of his later works, Picasso’s work always presents the viewer with visual and intellectual challenges that prove his own dictum: “Art is a lie that reveals the truth.”

Famous Artists™ is designed to develop visual literacy in school-age children. Created in 1986, it serves both public and independent schools throughout the area. Professional art educators and art historians train parent docents to deliver interactive classroom presentations that enable students to experience the wonders of artistic creation and provide tools for students to evaluate and interpret visual art.


Here is what some of our participants have said about our Famous Artist Program:

Rena Hecht, Famous Artists Chair/PTA Vice President, Harrison Avenue School:

  • A fantastic, yet affordable enrichment program and the parent presenters, as well as the students, get so much out of it.
  • The fact that you time your choice of artists to when their work is being exhibited in the New York metropolitan area is fantastic.  It gives families the opportunity to share in the students’ excitement about the artists by seeing the works in person.

Joanne O’Connor, Art Teacher, Chapel School & St. Joseph’s School Bronxville:

  • The Rye Arts Center’s docent program has been a wonderful way to have parents participate in the art education of their children.  The children enjoy having the parent docents come into their classrooms, and the excellent training provided by the Rye Arts Center makes it all possible.
  • The training includes valuable information about the featured artist, as well as literature and classroom support material.  We consider it a valuable part of our art curriculum!

Laurel Faintreny, Parent-Docent, French American School, Larchmont:

  • Every piece of information and training is very well prepared by the Famous Artists Team: from the inspiring meeting – well ahead of time, to the detailed material – focused equally on the docents and the students, everything is carefully prepared and thought of in order to provide a very interesting and enjoyable time for everyone!
  • The organizing team suggests that we work with a partner, another volunteer docent, which makes the whole preparation richer from the exchange you have with the other docent.

Posted on the Famous Artists  Blogsite 2/11/09 by parent-docent, Osborn School:

  • The children looked at one work of art by each artist, Alexander (Sandy) Calder and Joan Miro, and shared their ideas about the paintings. Then the mom/facilitator read them “Sandy’s Circus” — a story about Calder, his wire circus animals , and his invention of the mobile. Afterwards the children made a mobile together.  Each child had the opportunity to pick his/her own animal stencil, draw it, cut it out, and decorate it. Now, the mobile is hanging in the classroom. Many of the children wanted to bring home duplicate cut-outs of the animal they chose. They did an amazing job and were all very excited about the project.