Library’s Wetmore Gallery hosts Youth Art Month

Times Observer by Lorri Drumm Artwork created by students from the Warren County School District, St. Joseph’s Catholic School and homeschooled students is being displayed in the Wetmore Gallery of the Warren Public Library during business hours from now through March 25.

A wall-to-wall celebration of creativity from local youth is taking place at the Warren Public Library this month.

“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.” Slater is the library’s children’s department librarian.

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.

WAHS annually sends anywhere from 10 to 15 works completed by students at the secondary level, according to Hendricks. “This year I provided 12 secondary student art works,” she said. “The pieces highlight artwork being produced by our high school AP and senior-level art students, as well as pieces created in Art I, II and III courses.”

“The students at Eisenhower take pride in each piece of artwork they create,” said Jessica McElhaney, who teaches high school level art at Eisenhower

Middle/High School.

“They take part in the artistic process of brainstorming ideas and generating sketches to transform them into a piece of artwork,” McElhaney said. “Each piece of artwork is created through a unit of study that focuses on either a particular medium, technique or subject matter.”

“I always remind the students to ‘keep seeing’ and encourage them to strive and excel to their greatest potential,” McElhaney said. “Art isn’t just about talent, but the heart to love what they are creating throughout the artistic process.”

A Youth Art Month reception will take place on Monday, March 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Wetmore Gallery. Students whose artwork is featured in the show will receive an art award certificate signed by their art teacher and Slater.