Artists from Images Art Gallery, now located in Overland Park, reach out to public, private and home-schooled students to encourage art. The Fourth Annual Student Art Show is designed for preschoolers to students in the eighth grade. Co-chairwoman Norma Herring says the gallery enjoys reaching out to the youngest artists. “We get parents and children into the gallery. They get to see their art hung in a professional setting.” Co-chairwoman Dawn Thomas, a retired art teacher, says many children and parents love coming to a gallery opening. “We value children and promoting their self-esteem.”
Last year, the gallery contest had 66 entries. “We had people wanting to buy the children’s art last year.” Thomas says. “Parents, teachers, siblings and the community enjoyed the art. It really was a win-win for everyone.” This year, Thomas and Herring are reaching out to schools within the metropolitan community on both sides of the state line. The deadline for applications is Jan. 9. Parents must bring the art to the gallery between Jan. 14 and Jan. 16. The show opens Jan. 19 with an opening reception Jan. 21.
Herring says she knows children appreciate when parents bustle about art. Her own children watched her learn watercolor and became interested in creating art. She then worked on an art show for them. “Now my daughter is a graphic artist and my son is a musician. Art can be nurtured or not. We have to help students find their inner artist.”
Thomas, who abhors when districts get rid of art programs, knows the documentation that demonstrates how much children improve in all school subjects if they are allowed to express themselves through art. “We have to make connections to art for ourselves and our children. Art is around us in the interiors of our houses or in the planning of schools. We have to see art and encourage that.”
Children in preschool through second grade will be in the first age division. Third- through fifth-graders are the second group and children in middle school, sixth- through eighth-grade, are the third division. A high school show might be part of the gallery’s spring calendar. Art awards of first, second and third place ribbons are given in each age division. Artwork is professionally displayed in the gallery and juried by a panel of area artists. Each child will receive a participation ribbon.
The original art may be 2D (paintings, drawings, photography) no larger than 16″ x 20″ and should be framed and ready for hanging. 3D art is also encouraged such as sculpture, pottery or jewelry. Herring says if parents reach out to her, she can offer suggestions for framing.