Local gallery recognizes young artists

A local gallery has plans to recognize young artists with an exhibit dedicated just for their work.

The third annual Riverside Art Center Youth Show is set to begin Saturday with an opening reception from 2 to 4 p.m.

“We are trying to promote art in schools and for the students,” Gallery Director Anna Fisher said. “This (subject) is where a lot of kids shine and they need an outlet that makes them feel good about themselves.”

Students from Aug-laize, Allen and Shelby county schools, from preschool to seventh grade, have entries that will be displayed at the gallery during this show.

There are 12 participating art teachers that have picked as many as 30 pieces of their students’ artwork from their classes.

“It’s fabulous,” Fisher said. “ I think the art that the teachers submit gets better each year.”

This art exhibit started with only Wapakoneta City Schools submitting artwork and has grown to include many area schools.

“It’s gotten bigger and bigger and bigger,” Fisher said of the how the exhibit has grown. “We started with Wapak and it has grown over the years.”

This exhibit not only gives students encouragement and recognition, but it also gives the teachers kudos for their work.

“This is our way of giving a nod to art teachers, and we will give a monetary donation to the teachers, “Fisher said. “Art teachers are often spread thin. This is a bit of sunshine for everyone.”

Between the watercolor, crayon and tissue paper, Fisher said that there is variety of artworks and styles to see at this year’s show. She described the works as “incredible and sophisticated.”

She noted this year she has seen a lot of color in the student’s artwork.

“There is so much color this year,” Fisher said. “The color is so insane. It draws you in.”

The bright art pieces include works that were made in class while following lesson plans involving studying artists, art history, techniques and following a storyline.

In addition, this exhibit is rewarding for each student.

For many of these students, this is the first time their work has been displayed in a public gallery setting, and Fisher is glad that the Riverside Art Center can provide a place to display their pieces.

“The best thing is seeing the kids smile,” Fisher said, addressing when students see their artwork hung up at the gallery.