Appreciating the work of young artists

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, March 17, 2016

As mentioned a few weeks earlier, it is time to celebrate young artists in our community.

The annual Student Exhibition, which is hanging at the Powerhouse, will welcome families and visitors to view and celebrate the art at a special reception Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.

Each year the Powerhouse fills its walls in the gallery with art created by youngsters who live in Oxford and Lafayette County. This year is no different and the turnout has been outstanding.

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More than 150 pieces of art line the walls, bringing color and joy to the space. Works range from drawings, paintings, collage and even photography. Artists who submitted their work include preschoolers all the way to high school seniors.

Art is juried by category with guest judges coming from the Oxford Artists’ Guild which is a sponsor of the event. Winners will be announced in each category at the reception.

The reception is a big affair with fun activities, lots of food and refreshments. Attendance is always high with families and friends coming out to support the children in their lives.

A joyous celebration, the reception comes together through the help of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, co-sponsor of the exhibition, and members of the artists’ guild who prepare food, decorations and coordinate the evening’s activities.

The installation of this show was a big one with guild members helping check in artwork on March 4. Then there is the big job of hanging all the pieces and adding labels to all the pieces of art.

Andy Douglas, who has been at the Powerhouse since the very first show, continues to help in staging the massive show each year.

This year’s show will be up until the end of the month and gives children the exposure to their work that a seasoned artist would get.

Part of the mission of the exhibit is to give students a chance to showcase their talents in a professional environment honoring their achievements. Children have to follow rules about framing, presentation and can even price their work to sell.

Several artists have their work for sale in this show, and the works can be had at many price points including $50 to more than $1 million.

There also were many artists who decided not to sell their work at any price.

In a community that values art and its local artists, this show continues to reinforce the fact that Oxford appreciates art and wants to nurture its young people in expressing themselves artistically.

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child and it seems that this village also intends to raise them to be proud of their talents, and hone their artistic leanings.

I give kudos to the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the Oxford Artists’ Guild for putting on another great student exhibition. Head out to the reception and let the youngsters know you appreciate their efforts.

ANDI BEDSWORTH is owner of Art To Go, which brings free art opportunities to children in the community.