WAPAKONETA — It’s bright and imaginative, and all 350 pieces were created by children. It’s the annual Youth Show, now open at the Riverside Art Center.
“All of the projects really are top-notch,” said Anna Fisher, gallery director at Riverside. And so popular that at the opening, parents and students filled the gallery to overflowing. But it’s not just parents who enjoy the work.
“One of the focuses of Riverside is to reach out into the community. We invited teachers to bring in student work, and this exhibit invites even those with no children in the schools the opportunity to come to this lovely gallery and view some of the work,” Fisher said.
This year, 12 area teachers representing youth from preschool to seventh grade answered the call to exhibit. The works include pastels, watercolors, colored pencils and sculptures. “Every year it’s always new work. Not the same old projects each year,” Fisher said.
“What strikes me is the colors these artists choose. They are bright, they are cheerful, they are energetic, and they’re a joy to look at,” Fisher said.
Along with a great show, the exhibit also highlights the importance of art in school and in life.
“When the youngsters come to the gallery, we let them know they are artists. We make a big deal of their work. We want them to know that if art is their passion, that’s wonderful. The arts are important to them, to their schools and to their lives,” Fisher said.
And the teachers bringing the works include a project sheet that they swap with other teachers, allowing all to gather new ideas for the next year.
“This is great for the children, great for the teachers, great for the schools and really great for the community to see the works created by these young artists,” Fisher said