Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES News Article

Artists at Ridgecrest Academy create beauty from darkness

Ridgecrest Academy artists Calvin King (l) and Jonathan Finger (r) with their still-incomplete painting for Rochester’s Ronald McDonald House.

When Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester put out a call for artwork to brighten their guest rooms, students at BOCES 2 Ridgecrest Academy responded enthusiastically. A group of talented ninth-graders in teacher Bryce Doty’s art class volunteered to work together to take on the challenge. 

Artists Jonathan Finger (Holley) and Calvin King (East Irondequoit) took inspiration from RMHC’s mission and vision: to support the health and wellness of children and families. They chose the image of the lotus flower, symbolizing strength in adversity as it rises from a dark place into beauty and health. They combined the lotus with an explosion of joyful color and dancing hearts to create a painting that practically bursts with love and positive energy.

Still a work in progress, the lotus painting is the first of two large (48” x 60”) canvases Doty’s class is creating for RMHC. Artist Chaney Clason (East Rochester) is beginning a second concept, built around caring hands and community. The artists hope to have both paintings completed early in 2019.

Finger and King have collaborated creatively before with great success. Earlier this year, the pair designed a powerful mural for the Ridgecrest Academy front office called “Never Stop Learning.” While Finger has been honing his artistic talent for several years at Ridgecrest Academy, King is just beginning to develop a love for art. “I didn’t have much opportunity to do art before I came here last January,” he said. “I’m really enjoying it.”

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