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Welcome to all of my art students and parents!


Community Art

Beautiful art created by every artist in the PK-8th grade! We are Stronger Together and Unified in Christ!

Artistically Speaking September 2014

Pinwheels for Peace 2014

Although it does not feel like September with the very hot weather, September is here and we are already beginning our annual Pinwheels for Peace project.  Each year all of our students create pinwheels with prayers and symbols of peace on them to honor International Peace Day on September 21st.  This is our fifth year participating in this art installation and we are very proud to do so. Pinwheels for Peace originally began with an idea from two art teachers and 500,000 pinwheels has and now grown to 4 million pinwheels blowing prayers of peace throughout the world!  You can read more about it here :http://www.pinwheelsforpeace.com/pinwheelsforpeace/home.html  Our art students will be "planting" their pinwheels throughout the outside grounds of the school on September 22nd.  Please stop by and see them!

Helping Classrooms Donation

2nd Grade Student with Pinwheels for Helping Classrooms

Students Rebuild.org in collaboration with the Bezos Family Foundation encourages students to take collective action to help others in need. Each year, Students Rebuild.org organizes a challenge where students can work together to create an item (paper beads, origami cranes, etc.). The Bezos Family Foundation then donates funds for each item created. This year, the challenge was to make pinwheels. Holy Cross students in grades PK-8 created 400 pinwheels. Each pinwheel included art and a special prayer. Their 400 pinwheels will translate into $800 to be donated to Helping Classrooms an organization that provides mobile classrooms to children affected by crisis (either war or natural disaster) to offer structure to help children to heal.





New School Year: New Schedule

As we welcome back the new school year, I wanted to take a moment to discuss the new schedule for Art Enrichment.  Beginning this year, students in grades PK-5 will receive art instruction once a week all year long. The junior high art students who have elected either Visual Journaling or Fine Art will meet twice a week the entire year. The junior high schedule has remained the same, but the elementary schedule has changed due to moving to a two track system.  This will make it easier for the students to help them to remember which day they will have art enrichment as it will remain the same throughout the year.

The art students will also require their art smocks/aprons for the entire year.  Each teacher has their own system for storage of the students' art smocks from baskets to coat hooks.  If for some reason their art smock comes home in a bookbag, please make sure it is returned to school.  It is not really necessary to wash an art smock and I would not recommend washing it with your other clothes if you do as the art materials may wash off onto your other clothes.  Please be sure that your child's smock/apron is marked with your student's last/first name and class.  With close to 400 students attending art class in a week, it is difficult to remember who wore which art smock without them being marked.  Junior High students should keep theirs in their lockers and bring them to class. 

!Looking forward to making wonderful art memories!

Fall Festival Projects Junior High Art

7th Grade Fine Art- Checkers- (Rogelio, Stephen and Danielle)                 7&8th Grade Visual Journaling- Tic Tac Toe Frogs and Ladybugs  (Julia, Rachel, Alexa, Om, Marcelina, Jessica, and Avery)

The art students have been busy the past several weeks working on their Fall Auction projects that will be part of the Silent Auction at the Fall Festival on October 17, 2015.  They have turned
out so beautiful!  Please stop by the Gym on October 17th to place your bid to help raise money for our school!  Thank you!

What's New in the Art Room? Pinwheels and Artist Statements

The art room is filled with pinwheels for the art installation on September 22nd in honor of International Peace Day.  Almost all grades have finished their pinwheels and I will be taking pictures of them to be posted on Artsonia.com shortly. Please take a moment to talk to your child about their pinwheel and if you have time take a walk around the campus to see the beautiful display of whirling prayers of peace!

The students in grades 1-8 will be writing their first artist statement of the year.  An Artist Statements is where students are able to reflect on their artwork and express their feelings and beliefs about their inspiration, concepts/techniques learned, and critically analyze the projects as to their favorite part or even things that they might want to change if they were to do this again.  If we have studied a particular artist that correlates with the project, students will also express their understanding of the artist's style and art reviewed.  Artists in grades 1-5 create a five sentence artist statement and those in grades 6-8 will create a two paragraph analysis/reflection piece. It is my belief that students who reflect on their art in this way have a deeper appreciation and understanding of their art process and art. Their artist statements will be published also on Artsonia.com, so you will be able to read your child's thoughts about their art.  This authentic writing is so important to students, so please take a moment to read and comment on their work.  Students in PK and Kindergarten will also reflect by dictating to me a one sentence description.  I will enter the artist statements for grades PK-5.  Grades 6-8 will utilize the media lab in order to enter their own artist statements online.  This will occur later in the year after they have written three or more artist statements.

Pinwheels for Peace and Helping Classrooms



Pinwheels for Peace 2015


This is our 8th year honoring International Peace Day with our prayer for peace pinwheels.  This year we had close to 400 pinwheels whirling around

campus.  Students participate in this global art installation as a way to bring awareness to the need for peace and to pray as a family for peace. 

This year our hard work will have an additional fantastic benefit! The charitable organization Students Rebuild.org is working with the Bezo

Family Foundation which will donate $2 for every pinwheel sent to the organization.  The Bezo Foundation looks to involve students globally in art

projects that bring awareness to needs of children and families.  Two years ago, they were involved with Charity Water which helps bring

clean drinking water to families in Tanzania.  In 2013, my students made over 1200 paper beads that helped over 100 people receive

clean drinking water.  This year, our pinwheels will raise $800 for the charity, Helping Classrooms.  This charity brings mobile classrooms to

children in war torn or disaster torn areas, such as Syria.  As I explained this to our children, you could see the look of compassion in their eyes.  Even the

younger ones knew that they were an important part of a bigger world.  We feel blessed that our art can make a difference in other

children's lives.

Whirled Prayers of Peace



Pinwheels for Peace is such a wonderful way to start the school year with a school-wide art project that incorporates our prayers for peace.  Each year the students look forward to this special event.  This year we had almost 500 pinwheels whirling away all throughout the campus.  The Lord blessed us with a beautiful day of no rain and a calm breeze.  May our prayers be heard as we look forward to peace one day soon.


Next week I will be posting an article about Artsonia.com.  Have you checked your child's account recently?  The photos of these pinwheels are up on the Artsonia.com site now.  I will be sharing some interesting facts about Artsonia.com, so be sure to check in next week.


2014-2015 Artsonia Hall of Fame Inductees

Congratulations to the Newest Artsonia.com Hall of Fame Winners!


It is with great pleasure that I announce the newest inductees to Artsonia’s Hall of Fame. They are:


Adam Z.

Alexa T.

Alexander C.

Alyssa G.

Ashtyn T.

Austin Y.

Ben D.

Bradley D.

Brennyn T.

Bridget W.

Brooke S.

Carter Y.

Cassidy Y.

Chance G.

Chase B.

Constant B.

Dana S.

Dylan H.

Elizabeth Z.

Elizabeth F.

Emma K.

Eva B.

Gavin B.

Grace C.

Gwyneth S.

Hunter C.

Isabella Z.

Jack D.

Jessica C.

Josephine W.

Josselyn S.

Kayla T.

Katherine N.

Kayla T.

Leo P.

Lilyana Z.

Lyrissa B.

Mackenzie G.

Maia O.

Marc C.

Mark B.

Max S.

Maximilian C.

Nick D.

Noah B.

Olivia S.

Priya T.

Rachel M.

Rachel N.

Roman P.

Sage S.

Sawyer M.

Thomas K.

Tyler D.

Victoria P.

Virginia W.

Vivian W.


To achieve this high honor, each student had three or more pieces of artwork published, received three or more rave reviews left by family and friends, and had three or more fans sign up to join their fan club! Bravo to each of them and everyone who supported them!


The new calendar year has begun for Artsonia.com and therefore the contest has begun again! If you haven’t heard of Artsonia.com, it is our online art gallery where each student has their own personal digital portfolio of their art. Also, students in first through eighth grade will write about their art in the form of artist statements, so you can also learn about their inspirations and thoughts.


Please support our arts program by visiting http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=111006 and leaving comments for all our wonderful artists! Thank you so much!



Summer Time!

Summer is here and vacation officially starts tomorrow.  I wanted to wish everyone a fantastic art-filled summer!  Students have learned to use lots of materials this year and have told me that they would love to continue creating over the summer. My students love the "How to Draw..." books I have in the classroom.  These, a sketchbook, drawing pencils, and an eraser would be a great end of school gift!  I can't wait to see all of their masterpieces! 

Another fun activity would to be to review their art on Artsonia.com.  It would be their own personal exhibit! Do you know that Artsonia.com has a slideshow feature?  This can be projected on a screen so that everyone can see.  Check out how much their art has grown since they started at HCS! It is a great way to talk about art. 

Summer is also a great time to visit museums.  I love when students come back to me and tell me that they have seen art by one of the many artists we have studied. 
Many of the local art leagues have kids art classes.  Dover Art League, Misipillion Art League, and Rehoboth will offer classes and camps.  The Delaware Art Museum (where our junior high just visited on May 8th) also offer children's programs. 

Most of all, have fun!  I wish all of my students and families a joyous and restful summer! 

Mrs. Benini

Artsonia.com: Did You Know?

Artsonia.com has been our online host for publishing our artwork since 2009.  It is the largest online art gallery in the world! I decided to make the commitment to publish all students artwork when I became the art teacher here at HCS as I felt ALL students' artwork should be showcased.  Although it is a huge time commitment to photograph each piece of artwork produced and enter their written artist statements, it has been so gratifying to receive the compliments from parents, students, and our art supporters for the effort.  There is more to Artsonia than meets the eye....


* We have over 20,000 pieces of art published since 2009?
* We have ranked #1 in the state of Delaware EVERY year since 2009?
* Student artwork remains on the website from PK-8th Grade?
* Parents can add to their child's account by publishing art from home?
* I can add a second email to your child's account so that both parents can receive the notifications?
* I can change the email you wish the notifications to be sent to?
* You can help your child achieve Hall of Fame status by leaving comments for their artwork and adding friends and family as fan club members?
* You can click on "slideshow view" while in your child's account and have it automatically scroll between their art pieces? Great for projecting on a TV during a party or celebration!

If you ever have any questions about Artsonia.com, please do not hesitate to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as I am the administrator for our account and would be happy to assist!

Evening of the Arts...Beautiful!

The 8th grade Evening of the Arts was so beautiful! We had fantastic performances both musical, vocal, and even theatrical!  The artwork was phenomenal and really displayed the creativity of our wonderfully talented art students!  I would like to thank all of the 8th grade students for sharing their love of art this evening and all their years at HCS!  Thank you also to the 8th grade parents for providing the refreshments and most importantly for your support of the arts at Holy Cross. God bless!  May God hold you in the palm of his hands and know that you are always a part of our family here at Holy Cross.

Fall Festival: Junior High ABC's

Last week the 7&8 th grade students worked together on an art project for the Fall Festival.  They were asked to help create the ABC cards for a magnetic learning chart that would be auctioned off at the Fall Festival on October 25, 2014.  The students loved the fact that their artwork would be enjoyed by someone in a fun and educational way.  Each student received a letter that they needed to illustrate.  Following a pre-determined format, so that all letters would look somewhat similar and the pictures would take up the approximate amount of space, students used their imagination to create a picture that a 3-5 year olds would recognize.  The art students were also able to use their fresh knowledge about block lettering (from their 3D sketchbook cover project) to create uniform letters.  The students completed project can be viewed on Artsonia.com and in person at the Fall Festival.  We hope you enjoy it!

8th Grade Evening of the Arts

Each year we celebrate the graduating 8th graders with a special evening showcasing their musical and artistic talents, which we call the Evening of the Arts! This year it will be on June 3rd at 6:00PM in the parish Hall.  We are so excited to share this evening together as a final celebration with our "seniors" and parents and family. 

If your child has signed up to participate, you should have received an invitation already with the details, but here are the highlights:

PRACTICE: June 2nd, 2:30-3:30PM

June 3rd arrive by 5:45PM

Spring dresses, skirts, etc. for girls
Dress slacks and polo for boys

Music students please bring a dessert.
Art students please bring lemonade or iced tea.

We hope you can attend!!

Eden Hill Express Art Exhibit

This week I will be hanging the artwork for the Eden Hill Express care exhibit.  Seven talented art students will have their art on display there for several months.  This year, STMA and Holy Cross will be alternating artwork at the exhibit.  Our artwork this time features beautiful colored pencil work from:

David G.
Luke A.
Tyler I.
Jessica Z.
Jake W.
Megan P.
Jack W.

I will be finishing up the framing this week, so be sure to stop by Eden Hill if you get a chance to see their awesome art!

Back to the Cross

Back to the Cross Musical Performance

For the last couple of months my husband and I have been building the props for the musical in my garage at home.  The largest piece is a 6 foot high Time Machine!  It is all for the Spring musical performance, Back to the Cross for PK2 and 1B-5B  classes.  I am very excited to see it all come together!  Rehearsals begin today and continue tomorrow with performances at 1:30PM and 6PM.  Please come out and see our wonderfully talented students perform!

St. Thomas More Academy Art Scholarship

This past week I met with the Visual Arts instructor at St. Thomas More Academy to discuss vertical curriculum as part of our in-service.  While there we also discussed the Visual Art Scholarship that is offered each year.  Mr. Shotzberger has provided me with the portfolio requirements that I wanted to share with you and your student artists who may be thinking about attending STMA. 

St. Thomas More Academy
Visual Art Scholarship Requirements

1.  Submit a portfolio with the following contents:

*Three observation drawings (looking at the live subject when drawing).
Media: pencil, charcoal, ink, pastels, etc.
*One head drawing from a live subject (portrait or self portrait).
Open media
*One drawing reflecting knowledge of light and shadow (shading)
Media: pencil, ink, charcoal
*One sample reflecting knowledge of color.
Medium: Open color
*One sample of art based on your imagination.
Media: Open


*Note: if the sample of art showing color knowledge or your imagination is 3-dimensional, please provide a photograph of the work.

2.  A student written essay (typed 500 words or more) about your interest in art, favorite subject and media, background or art classes, future intentions in the visual arts, and why you would like to be part of the St. Thomas More art program.


4. The student must have completed the application process to attend St. Thomas More Academy as a Freshman for the 2015-2016 school year in order to be considered for this scholarship.

The exact due date has not been set, but will be in mid February 2015.  Students should begin working on the artwork NOW in order to complete quality art.  If students should need help with their portfolios, please see me after school or during recess to schedule a time.

Delaware Art Museum Field Trip, May 8th

Delaware Art Museum Field Trip


Junior high art students visited the Delaware Art Museum on Friday, May 8th. They toured the contemporary art exhibits throughout the museum. They also visited the Diocesan Art show and were able to view art from all over the Diocese of Wilmington including their own! Their admission was completely covered through the Red Apple grant that I received. It was a glorious day to also visit the outside sculpture garden and labyrinth as well.


They were so sad to leave! Actually, the students are imitating the statue behind them from the sculpture garden called, “The Crying Giant” created by the artist after 9/11.

















But they had an awesome time!