Students display about 750 works of art during annual show
By Vincent Vala
To recognize the artistic achievements of its students, Culpeper County Public Schools this week held its annual student art show at the State Theatre on South Main Street.
March is Youth Art Month, and the time each year that CCPS acknowledges the creative endeavors of its students with a public showing of their work created throughout the school year.
Event coordinator and Emerald Hill Elementary School Art teacher Kathy Dwyer has been overseeing the art show annually for 14 years now. This is the show’s third year at the State Theatre.
Dwyer said she is happy that this year the work of the students from the county’s two high schools were included in this week’s show.
While the high schools are still holding their own art show next month, Dwyer said ninth through 12th-grade students are displaying their works in both shows this year.
“It’s been about 10 years since we’ve had high school students in the show,” Dwyer said Thursday afternoon as she and other volunteers worked to prepare the State Theatre for Thursday evening’s artists reception, which was held from 5 to 7 p.m.
Dwyer said the high school students added about 200 pieces to the show’s total of roughly 750 works.
An additional six folding panels were added to this year’s show to display all the pieces selected by the schools’ art instructors.
During this week’s show, the students’ work was on display in the theater’s upstairs and downstairs galleries.
The show included works in a wide variety of media, including paint, pencil, ink, clay, ceramic and wood, and many aspects of popular culture were celebrated. Familiar actors – and androids – from the latest Star Wars film graced the art show panels alongside such culutral icons as Daffy Duck, Austin Powers and, of course, the minions.
State Theatre Gallery Manager Toni Hitchcock said the art teachers set up the art show at the theater last Sunday, and the show was open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
“We have an incredible selection of art from the Culpeper County schools, from all age ranges,” Hitchcock said.
A.G. Richardson Elementary School Art teacher Karen Testerman said the annual art show allows her and the county’s other art teachers to see how their former students are advancing with their work as they move through the school system.
“We’re really excited to see everybody again,” Testerman said. “It’s really nice to showcase the student’s art; they work really hard all year and this gives them a chance to bring their families in to see what they have been doing.”
Vincent Vala can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 825-0771, ext. 132.