Teapot by Josh Fishman

Teapot by Josh Fishman,
The Putney School

Red Bird by Jade Newton

"Red Bird" by Jade Newton, BUHS

Blue Vase by Maddy Parrasch

Blue crystalline vase by Maddy Parrasch, The Putney School

34th Annual Student Art Month: Why Celebrate?

For 34 years the Arts Council of Windham County (ACWC) has designated March as Student Art Month. Why is this important? Why should it continue? Why should you care?

Photography by Jade Newton

"Piano" by Jade Newton, BUHS

First off, take the opportunity to experience some of the great art coming from our young people. Nothing beats your own firsthand reaction to what our kids are doing. Shows of High School work from around the county open Friday at the Brattleboro Boys & Girls Club, In-Sight Photography Project, and Vermont Artisan Designs' upstairs Gallery 2. This part of the celebration is coordinated by Susan Rosano, Master Teaching Artist.

Work by Elementary School students is being shown throughout the month at Brooks Memorial Library and other public spaces around the county. These exhibits are being coordinated by Marie Procter this year. In previous years, Marie generously donated her time as overall coordinator of Student Art Month. The Arts Council is grateful to Marie for all her hard work and efforts to make Student Art Month the great countywide art show that it is today.

But student art takes many forms beyond what hangs on the wall or graces our shelves. A listing of the myriad student theater, music, and dance performances to which the public is welcome will be published on Thursdays in the Reformer's Ovation section and posted at www.acwc.us. Watch 'em act, watch 'em sing, watch 'em dance!

It has been proven that practicing art makes good education and good citizens. But this won't continue without public knowledge and support. So, turning the spotlight on the inspired and inspiring art coming from our young people is a public service to help our communities invest our education dollars wisely.

Detail from drawing by Siena Powers

Detail from "Two Deer" by Siena Powers, The Putney School

Most art is about communicating something that does not fit into our intellectual frameworks. That communication is only complete when what the artist produces touches the lives of others. Student Art Month gives our young artists the opportunity to have their work connect with a wider community. This is affirming and supportive of their growing skills, and gives them an opportunity to experience the full circle of being an artist in the world.

Most significant is that our young people have views of life and beauty that are indeed fresh, vibrant, and important. Experiencing what they have to show us in this ever-changing world is a gift to ourselves that makes our lives richer and fuller. The artist in all of us will be refreshed and inspired by their work. So ACWC does this to strengthen the artistic life of all of us in Windham County.

Why should you care? Perhaps it is best for you to see what's going on, and then let the rest of us know.

Copyright 2014, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

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