Discover Downtown

March is Youth Art Month!

It’s that time of year again, Harrisonburg…

March is Youth Art Month!

To celebrate, the art teachers of Harrisonburg City Public Schools hold a variety of events in each of their schools, from morning announcements and trivia days to special assemblies and spirit week. To highlight a few schools:

Stone Spring Elementary School (Kate Nesmith) has created an Interactive Art Museum! Ms. Nesmith writes, “The closest art museum is two hours away from our students in Harrisonburg City Schools. Many of our kids have never had the chance to visit one in person. This year, the SSES Interactive Art Museum brings the experience directly to our students! Funded by a grant from the Harrisonburg Education Foundation, the museum fuses art, technology, and core subject SOLs into an awesome art adventure!”

Skyline Middle School (Valerie Smith) will host a special dual art show. Faculty member Sandra Parks will show photography from her series 367 and 7th grade student Noelle Warne will create a piece of art that progresses throughout the month. On March 1, she will begin drawing and painting on a blank bulletin board in the front of the school as students enter the building. Each morning, she will add to it. Noelle’s fellow students will be able to see the step-by-step creation and thought process that goes into a work of art. Skyline will also host a Fine Arts Spirit Week where students are able to dress the part for Patterned Pajama Day, Monochromatic Day, and more!

Harrisonburg High School (Jauan Brooks and Kelley Shradley-Horst) is having a faculty art show, highlighting the talents of HHS teachers and staff. They will have a printmaking show from JMU and a traveling exhibit from Discovery Learning of Gustav Klimt. Also, they will be facilitating an Art Swap with other local high schools, an event where interested students will create a 4×6” 2D or 3D work of art to exchange with a student in another school.

The main event, however, is one that brings us all together: The

Youth Art Month Exhibit.

This year marks our 16th annual k-12 visual art exhibit. We have held our exhibit in various places over the years, including RMH and the gracious Municipal Building. This year, we are very pleased to announce a new venue:

Massanutten Regional Library!

With a beautiful layout and plenty of light, the library will be a wonderful space in which to view our students’ work. The exhibit will be up February 25-April 10 and we will hold a special reception for artists and their families on

Saturday, February 25th, 1-3pm

in the meeting rooms at the library. All are welcome to come and enjoy the festivities on this day, which includes light refreshments and a scavenger hunt!

If you have a moment next month, take time to celebrate Youth Art Month. What are some things you can do?

  • Attend our reception at the library on Feb 25th, 1-3pm.
  • View the exhibit on another day between Feb 25th and April 10th.
  • Make art with a child (draw, paint, sculpt, go outside and arrange rocks or sticks and leaves).
  • Talk to your child about why art is important (their thoughts may surprise you!)
  •  Take your child to see art downtown for First Fridays on March 2nd.

Valerie Smith is an artist and art educator at Skyline Middle School.

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