Art opening sees visitors hob-nob with young artists

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm Local students brought friends and family to see the many works of art they created for a display that is part of a celebration of Youth Art Month in the Wetmore Gallery at the Warren Public Library. The display is open to the public during library business hours through March 25.

“I don’t know. I guess I just thought of the Devil,” Graice Siliano said as she described her inspiration for a ceramic mug she created. “I wanted to make something different.” Siliano, a sixth-grade student at Beaty-Warren Middle School, admitted her devil actually looks somewhat playful and devilish with lots of teeth and three pointy feet.

The mug was just one of many pieces of artwork being admired by local students and their guests on Monday.

A Youth Art Month reception was held on Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Wetmore Gallery at the Warren Public Library. Students whose artwork is featured in the show received an art award certificate signed by their art teacher and Susan Slater, children’s department librarian.

The young artists were not there just to collect certificates or grab some cookies before dinner. Many children were eager to find the fruits of their labor and point them out to parents and friends. Some of the adults in the crowd preferred to try to pick out which art belonged to their budding artists.

“A Youth’s Perspective Art Show” is open to the public in the library’s Wetmore Gallery until March 25 during library business days and hours.

The show is being held in recognition of Youth Art Month. It is a collaboration of student work from homeschoolers and those who attend schools in the Warren County School District and St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

“This Art Show is Susan Slater’s idea,” said Cynthia Hartburg, K-12 art instructor at Sheffield Area Middle/High School and art curriculum coordinator. “She contacts all of us and does all of the work for the show. We bring the artwork and set it up.”

Youth Art Month is a month’s worth of celebrating the visual arts both locally and nationally, according to Joie Hendricks, art teacher at Warren Area High School.

Youth Art Month started in 1961 through The Art and Creative Materials Institute. Since then the month of March has been designated to promote art education as a factor in developing citizens of a global society, providing a better quality of life and encouraging divergent and critical thinking. Events, such as the current art show, increase community understanding and interest in art education.

A Youth’s Perspective Art Show will be on display in the Wetmore Gallery through Monday, March 25 during library business hours.

Area children in preschool and kindergarten will have their artwork featured in a Young Children’s Art Show in the gallery from Wednesday, April 3 through Thursday, April 25.

The Warren County High School Art Show runs in the gallery from Monday, April 29 through Thursday, May 9.