Guest Blog: AENJ Youth Art Month “Building Community Through Art”.

The theme for the 2017/2018 school year is “Building Community Through Art”.

Youth Art Month is a celebration of the visual arts!  The Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers Youth Art Month. Youth Art Month encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety. The Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers the program at the national level. The program provides a medium for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences unlike any other curriculum subjects, including:

  • Problem solving

  • Creativity

  • Observation

  • Communication

Art shows, special exhibits, fundraisers, and school and community activities take place annually, traditionally during March, to celebrate visual art education for grades K – 12.

Started in 1961 through The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI), Youth Art Month exists to:

  1. Recognize art education as a viable factor in the total education curricular that develops citizens of a global society.

  2. Recognize art is a necessity for the full development of better quality of life for all.

  3. Direct attention to the value of art education for divergent and critical thinking.

  4. Expand art programs in schools and stimulate new art programs.

  5. Encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.

  6. Provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.

  7. Increase community, business and governmental support for art education.

  8. Increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.

  9. Reflect and demonstrate the goals of the National Art Education Association that work toward the improvement of art education at all levels.

We are also happy to note, that New Jersey has won the CFAE Award of Excellence for the past two years, for their Youth Art Month work.  In addition, the Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ), also awards and recognizes its members who excel in their Youth Art Month activities.  Yearly at their Fall Conference, AENJ honors members with the Linda Lora Pugliese YAM Award and the Lynn Dodson YAM Award of Excellence.  The Linda Lora Pugliese Award was established to honor former President, Linda Pugliese, whose dedication to Youth Art Month was rewarded with the first National Claire Flanagan Grand Award. This award recognize a current county YAM chair or the leadership team who has done the most to increase support for quality art programs and exhibits through the medium of Youth Art Month. The Lynn Dodson YAM Award of Excellence was established to honor Lynn Dodson who was the first New Jersey recipient of the Youth Art Month NAEA Award of Excellence. This award recognizes a county YAM chair, co-chair or an individual AENJ member who has demonstrated an outstanding support for Youth Art Month activities.

In New Jersey, we celebrate Youth Art Month with seventeen county art shows, and a State Exhibition and Reception.  Over 100 teachers will submit their students’ artwork to be exhibited at the State YAM Reception, which will take place at the Statehouse and Annex in Trenton, New Jersey from March 3 to March 9, 2018.  In the past, we have received and displayed six of the best 2D pieces from K-12 student artists from each county in the state.  This year, we are expanding our YAM Exhibit by including 3D pieces!  These pieces will be submitted as high-quality, matted or mounted pictures, and will displayed as part of our YAM State Exhibit.  Each county is allowed up to three 3D entries from any grade level, which brings our total number of student art pieces on display to nearly 200!!!  On Friday, March 9, AENJ will hosts two Receptions and Awards Ceremonies for the students whose work has been selected.  The High School Reception will feature a guest speaker, followed by an evening reception for K-8 students and their families.

New Jersey State YAM Chairs: Kristy Lopez & Karen Mannino:


Exhibit: March 3 – 9, 2018

Location: Capitol Building Annex Tunnel, 125 West State Street, Trenton, NJ

Reception – Friday, March 9, 2018, Capitol Building Annex Committee Rooms 4&5, 125 West State Street, Trenton, NJ

High School Reception (Grades 9-12): 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Awards Ceremony at 1:00 pm

Elementary Reception (K-8): 5:30 pm to 7:45 pm, Awards Ceremony at 6:30 pm



Exhibit: March 2nd-March 27th

Location: Noyes Art Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmont Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ

Reception: Saturday, March 10, 11:30am-1pm



Exhibit: TBD

Location: Bergen County Plaza Offices, 1st Floor Lobby/Conference Room, One Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack, NJ

Reception: TBD



Exhibit: TBD

Location: WIlliam G. Rohrer Library, 15 MacArthur Blvd. Haddon Township, NJ

Reception: TBD



Exhibit: TBD

Location: TBD

Reception: TBD



Exhibit: March 2 – March 16, 2018

Location: Greater Bridgeton Family Success Center, 155 Spruce Street, Bridgeton, NJ

Reception: Friday, March 2, 2018   6:30pm-7:30pm



Exhibit: TBD

Location: Essex County Hall of Records, 465 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ

Reception: Friday, March 23, 2018  12:00pm



Exhibit: TBD

Location: Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City

Reception: TBD



Exhibit: TBD

Location: Hunterdon Health and Wellness Center, Clinton, NJ

Reception: TBD



Visit Mercer YAM on Facebook and Twitter @mercer_nj_yam

Exhibit: March 2nd – April 14th

Location: Artworks Trenton, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton NJ  (

Reception: Saturday, March 10th, 2018 2:00pm-4:00pm

The Mercer County YAM website is:

The Mercer County YAM twitter handle is:




Exhibit: TBD

Location: Middlesex County College, Student Gallery in the College Center, 2600 Woodbridge Ave, Edison

Reception: TBD



Exhibit: TBD

Location: CVA Gallery Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ

Reception: TBD



Position Open, contact to get involved!

Exhibit: TBD

Location: TBD

Reception: TBD



Exhibit: TBD

Location: Ocean County Library – Brick Branch, 301 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick, NJ

Reception: Thursday, March 29, 2018  6:00pm-8:00pm



Exhibit: March 4th – March 21st

Location: Louis Bay 2nd Library, 345 Lafayette Ave, Hawthorne, NJ

Reception: Thursday, March 21st, 2018 6:00-8:00pm



The Somerset YAM teacher website is:

Exhibit:  Exhibit 1 (K-5) March 6-11th; Exhibit 2 (6-12) March 14-25th

Location: The Center for Contemporary Art (CCA), 2020 Burnt Mills Road, Bedminster, NJ

Reception:  Exhibit 1 (K-5) Reception March 11th 2-3:30pm; Exhibit 2 (6-12) Reception March 25th 2-3:30pm



Exhibit: TBD

Location: Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council Gallery

Reception: TBD



The Union County YAM teacher website is:

Exhibit:  March 1 – March 23

Location: The Plaza @ Elizabethtown Gas Company/Liberty Hall Center, 1085 Morris Ave., Union, NJ

Reception: Friday, March 23, 2018 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm


WARREN (see Hunterdon & Warren above)

Exhibit, Location, Reception – see above Hunterdon & Warren

Filed Under: Blog, Featured