Submitted by Rene Carroll
Washougal School District and Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance have joined forces again to shine a spotlight on student art throughout March, which is recognized nationally as Youth Art Month.
Washougal Youth Arts Month is made possible through partnerships with area artists, Washougal Community Education, Washougal Public Library, Washougal Schools Foundation and more. Students will have opportunities to make and display art throughout the events and activities planned all month long.
“We are very excited to be entering into our second year of partnering with our community in support of the thriving art scene in Washougal through Youth Arts Month!” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent. “Our students benefit greatly from an education that includes experiences to create, invent, and express their dreams through art.”
WYAM will kick off the month with the Washougal Youth Arts Month Gallery, at Washougal Town Square in downtown Washougal, March 5-6, 5pm to 7pm and Saturday, March 7 from 1pm to 5pm.
“We were overwhelmed by the community interest and support of last year’s gallery,” said Alice Yang, Cape Horn-Skye Art Teacher. “Hundreds of families and art lovers stopped by each day to enjoy the student work. And the students are very excited again to have their pieces showcased in this way. The level of creativity shown by our youth is impressive!”
Art pieces to be displayed include multi-media, watercolor, clay, video, and include works by WHS Career and Technical Education students with photography, metal and wood pieces. A variety of school band and choir concerts will be performed in March and Journey Theater has performances of The Secret Garden scheduled.
Washougal Community Education is offering a variety of art classes. “We are pleased to have some new art opportunities for our students, and parents, to explore their creative side,” said Kathy Douglas-Evans, Washougal Community Education. The Paint Roller and Washougal glass artist, Shirley Bishop, stepped up to provide these new, creative classes for youth. They include glass fusing, rock and face painting, and kids and family canvas painting. BrickZone is also offering a fun and artistic Spring Break camp. Register on the Washougal Community Education webpage at www.washougal.k12.wa.us/wcer. Selected student pieces created during some February classes will also be on display at the WYAM Gallery.
As a part of WYAM, WACA is inviting all Washougal students to participate in a photography challenge. “We’re asking them to grab their smartphone or digital camera and share through photography the beauty of Washougal,” said Susan Warford, WACA Board member. “We want them to find unique angles, use interesting lighting, and wonderful scenic views that illustrate the beauty of our area.” Images will be shared on the WACA website and FB pages. For details and student release form go to http://washougalarts.org.
Other community partners are the Washougal Public library, offering a pottery class, and Washougal School of Music, who is hosting a community recital showcasing the talents of their students as well as an adult Blue Grass Jam Session that students are invited to attend to see how music can come together in a free and creative environment.
Washougal Youth Arts Month will receive formal recognition from both the City of Washougal and Washougal School Board. On February 24, Mayor Molly Coston will sign a proclamation declaring March Youth Arts Month in Washougal. The Washougal School Board of Directors will issue a resolution supporting Youth Arts Month on February 25 at their meeting. “By collaborating in this rich arts endeavor with our community, we are supporting a partnership opportunity to know, nurture, and challenge all students in Washougal to rise to their creative potential,” Templeton said.
Youth Art Month started nationally in 1961 when the Council for Art Education and National Art Education Association named March as Youth Art Month to recognize art education and the value of art to create a better quality of life for all people. Research indicates that high-quality art educational opportunities can improve critical-thinking skills and even help to foster important values such as empathy and acceptance.
For a full list of scheduled art activities and events throughout the month of March, go to http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/