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Children proud of their artwork at Willie Price annual art show

Bennett Worthy and his pal Bryce Kirk were excited to show off their masterpieces Tuesday during the Willie Price Annual Art Gallery Event.
The two 5-year-old PreK Willie Price students stood in front of their artwork located across from each other on the walls of the daycare center located in Kinard Hall on the University of Mississippi campus.
Bennett’s painting was a giant purple monster from the book, “Quit Calling Me a Monster,” by Jory John and Bryce’s was of Pete the Cat from the book, “Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar,” by James Dean.
“That’s my favorite book,” Bryce said matter-of-factly.
Bennett’s parents, Michael and Brooke Worthy, were close by taking pictures and offering praise for a job well done.
“This is our second year, and we just love it,” Brooke Worthy said. “He’s been talking about this art show for two weeks.”
The children worked for several weeks under the guidance of their teachers to create masterpieces inspired by Van Gogh, Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, and Peter Anton.
“This is one of our favorite Willie Price favorite units,” said Alyce Krouse, senior program director. “The teachers work tirelessly to teach children about the distinct styles of notable artists from around the world.”
The artwork on display included photography projects, silhouettes, self-portraits, abstract paintings, sculptures and two science-themed projects that connected the worlds of science and art.
“Art is a central component of our program,” said Willie Price director Sarah Langley. “All of our students have opportunities to showcase their creativity on a daily basis. It really starts on the first day of school. That is how important art is to our teachers and families. It’s just a bonus that we have a team of teachers that understand how to channel our students’ artistic instincts as they create  individual and collaborative pieces to display at the Willie Price Art Gallery each spring.”
In conjunction with the annual art show, Willie Price hosted a silent auction that featured collaborative pieces done by students but also pieces made by artists from Oxford and the surrounding area. The online silent auction raised more than $6,000 to help support the school and its programs.
“This is about our school community,” Krouse said. “It’s about the pride our students feel when they show their work to their parents and others. I am so impressed by how much they learn and the innate interest that children seem to have when they create and view art.”