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Lots of local history, love of art and community accompanies return of Blue and Gold Gallery

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MHS art teacher Maryann Seager, who retires this year, has led the popular event for 22 years

  To say that coordinating the annual Blue and Gold Gallery is a “labor of love” for longtime Malden High School art teacher Maryann Seager would be quite accurate. It would also be missing some other parts of the equation for Seager, who is retiring at the end of this school year. Along with reveling in putting together the popular event with her Malden High Fine Arts Dept. colleagues and fellow art educators Joseph Luongo and Julie Mullane, and others, Seager is well known for her unabashed love of Malden High and all of its students.

  “Ms. Seager is a treasure at Malden High School,” said Malden High School Principal Chris Mastrangelo, who has worked alongside the beloved art teacher for nearly 20 years, “The love, dedication and commitment she shows our students and staff – every day – is amazing and so much appreciated. She has touched so many lives in her years here at MHS.”

  Seager was individually honored at the opening of the Blue and Gold Gallery on Opening Night, April 7, by Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, members of the Malden School Committee, Superintendent Dr. Ligia Noriega Murphy and Principal Mastrangelo for her work this year – and all the years – coordinating the gallery exhibition. “We are so grateful as a community to you for your contributions to the promotion of the artistic talents of our Malden High students and your many years in the MHS Art Department,” Mayor Gary Christenson said on Opening Night, presenting Maryann Seager with an official city citation.

  A fixture since 2001, the art exhibition features the creations of many Malden High School art students, with dozens and dozens of artistic works from many different mediums displayed on the walls of the lobby and anteroom of the Combined Properties office building at 350 Main St. – in the heart of Malden Square – at the intersection of Route 60/Centre St., Main and Exchange Streets.

  This is the first time the event has been held since 2019; it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in both 2020 and 2021, due to local and state health and safety protocols. Indeed, some of the artworks were inspired directly from the students’ experiences during the pandemic.

  Opening Night drew over 150 art lovers primarily from Malden as well as surrounding communities and other visitors from around the region.

  The exhibition is open to the public six days a week: from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. There is no admission charge and those who visit are free to view the artwork on their own or with a small group. It features many different forms of art, including paintings, drawings, sketches, ceramic works and various creative sculptures. It is an eclectic mix, but one connected by Malden High School students’ love and dedication for artistic expression, according to Seager.

  She started the event 22 years ago, following a simple request from city officials for some MHS students to create some artwork to enhance a city event. “They made some puppets in art classes, and it went over so well, we said, ‘Why not start an exhibition of the students’ art?’ and it just took off from there,” Seager said.

  “The students work so hard on this event, and we are so happy we are able to host it again this year,” Seager told The Malden Advocate. “It is great to show everyone the incredible artistic talent of our students and how resilient they are through the hardships they have faced the past few years with the pandemic.”

  “We hope that everyone comes and sees what outstanding and inspiring work our students have created,” Seager said. “It will be well worth a visit.”

Some ceramic art creations from Julie Mullane’s classes are on display.
The Blue and Gold Gallery, featuring the work of over 100 Malden High School art students, is on display six days a week at the 350 Main St. office building in the heart of Malden Square.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ligia Noriega Murphy (second from right) was on hand for the opening of the 2022 Blue and Gold Gallery, along with Assistant Supt. for Diversity and Equity Larissa Doherty (second from left) and Malden Ward 7 School Committee Member Keith Bernard (right).
Young artists were on hand for the Blue and Gold Gallery: Pictured from left: Tan Leshaun, MHS Junior Class of 2023 President Kyle Lee and Emily Chen.
Mayor and School Committee Chairperson Gary Christenson joined an MHS art student and School Committee Members Adam Weldai (right) of Ward 5 and Jennifer Spadafora (second from right) of Ward 3 at the Blue and Gold Gallery.

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