An Exhibit of Distinction

Brooklyn, N.Y.—Artists can be fickle.

So even though Jada Munroe’s piece is well received at the exhibit, the so-called master mixer of colors won’t be discussing her inspiration or the techniques behind her strokes, even when she’s bribed with a chocolate chip cookie or cajoled by her mother.

Safira LaRosa poses in front of her work.

At the swanky opening reception in the Brooklyn College Library — where the juice is flowing and the cookies are the kind with the big chunks of chocolate — the only quote six-year-old Munroe offers up to a reporter desperate to get the story is: “My favorite color is purple.”

Her work — a kaleidoscope of carefully blended colors and whirls that almost give the visual effect of a tornado — speaks for itself.

The same can be said for all 10 of the pieces in the newest exhibit at the library featuring work by the children in the School of Education’s Early Childhood Center. The exhibit will be on display on the library’s first floor through the end of July.

The children had stopped by the library just to look around at the museum-quality art collection when Christopher LaRosa, a student majoring in speech-language pathology and a teacher at the center who also has four children attending, was reminded of a class project his wife had worked on.

“The kids all chose one of the pieces in the collection as their inspiration and took it from there,” he explains, noting that they worked on the project for nearly a month.

His daughter Safira, who is also six years old, is not quite as restrained as her good friend Munroe. Little LaRosa throws around the word “darling” about as often as she tosses her long wavy hair while explaining succinctly that she chose her inspiration painting, Everything and Nothing, a 2006 acrylic on masonite by Joseph Loguirato, “because it was interesting. Darling.”

Nine-year-old Gabriel Bennett was inspired by a dark, almost spooky piece of spindly-armed trees along a bank called River’s Edge, a 1998 woodcut by Jim Lee. Bennett, who is planning to be a soccer player and will “do art on the side,” said he borrowed some techniques from van Gogh, who he learned about in a previous art class. 

“We all feel really happy because we wanted to show the public our work,” said Bennett, when asked what it’s like to have his masterpiece hang alongside those by top-class artists. “Now I think we’re famous.”