A Visit from Artist Edgar Jerins

Sebastian Parente, Staff Writer

On the twenty eighth of February our school was humbled as Edgar Jerins, an accomplished realist from NYC, visited our school and some of the art classes. As the world renowned artist that I am, the kid who was not allowed entry into studio art in eighth grade because I was too good, I decided to sit in on his art class visitation. But seriously, I thought it would be a great experience for someone who does not know much about art to sit in on this and see what I can learn.
Glazing is the use of transparent layers of paint color. In certain areas you may want to have the paint be physically thicker because it pulls the image closer. Hearing and seeing this I was confused but also interested. The way Mr. Jerins made the face look on the painting with the different thicknesses of paint was amazing. If I were to try and replicate that, my painting would look like an ogre, and not the cool, onion-loving, green kind.

So what did the students take away from this amazing experience? Senior Ashley Burbano said that “He taught us a wide variety of techniques to create our portraits with oil paint and charcoal. Over the course of his time with us we learned how to work with different brushes to create different textures and manipulate the paint consistency.” In addition, Kayko Donald said, “Fortunately, Edgar Jerins has taught me various ways to develop my technique as an artist. The amount of detail Edgar has guided me to focus on is remarkable. Prior to Edgar’s demonstrations, I didn’t pay attention to detail as much as I do now.” Clearly his visit did not go to waste.

Students related to Mr. Jerins’ artwork in different ways. Katherine Lee said, “ While Edgar has personally suffered grief throughout his life, he is able to continue drawing his family and friends and tell their story to everyone. I think we can all relate to how nobly he continues the legacy of his past friends.” While I do not personally know Edgar Jerins and the backstories of his friends and family, by some of his artwork I can sense how much these people mean to him. While some students did not connect to the artwork on a personal level, they still have great appreciation for it: “I don’t necessarily relate to it, but I appreciate the skill and thought that goes into each of his pieces,” said Dana, another student in the class. She liked the story behind the art and found it exciting, saying that he has a great eye for detail necessary to get the story across.

And after the day was concluded and Mr. Jerins’ had to return home, the students discussed their favorite parts of this learning experience. According to Ashley Burbano, “My favorite part of his demonstration was learning about his life and techniques. Having the opportunity to learn from a master artist was truly life changing.” Another student, Kayko Donald, took away a similar feel from Mr. Jerins: “My favorite part of Mr. Jerins’ demonstration is glazing over our drawings with oil paints. Drawings are fun and all but when paint is added it brings the art to life!” Katherine Lee enjoyed Mr. Jerins’ performance about the art techniques as a whole, commenting, “I particularly enjoyed watching Edgar bring a dully, charcoal face to life over the course of time he’s been with us. With just a few deft movements, he’s so easily able to breath life into a form.”

As a whole it seems that Edgar Jerins’ visit had a positive impact on the students and they took away plenty of new techniques and learned how to paint in a more sophisticated way. If in the future our school can bring in more artists to art classes, we should seriously consider doing so because it helps the students and exposes them to artists not named Da Vinci.