Student work draws large crowd

April 11, 1999

Student artworkBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Eight-year-old Bobby Smith recently got a chance to experience what it is like to be a professional artist.

The Smithsburg Elementary School student's pencil drawing of a turtle, lizard and a bat was selected for display at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts from Friday through Sunday as part of the Public School Art Exhibition.

His drawing was one of hundreds of pieces shown at the museum for the annual exhibit.

"I love animals, so I wanted to draw a turtle. I am happy that everyone can see it, " said Smith.

The turtle and other objects in the fourth-grader's picture were formed by using hundreds of tiny triangles, circles, X's, and boxes.


He said he loves to draw with a pencil and is proud to have his work on display.

Daniel Malphrus and a group of fourth-grade students at Boonsboro Elementary School created a 3-foot high gray elephant for the exhibit.

"I was so surprised to find out it was picked," as part of the display, Malphrus said.

"Trunky" the elephant was formed out of paper mache, with long felt ears and a denim tail.

"I'm just so proud," he said.

The show featured the art of Washington County students from more than 40 public schools. The artists ranged from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Just a hall away from the likes of Whistler and Rodin, the student's work was displayed - pen and pencil drawings, macaroni jewelry, paper mache sculptures, oil and acrylic paintings, photographs, textile designs, wire sculptures, basket weaving, poems, a quilt, watercolor pictures and pottery.

"I was overwhelmed when I looked at all the schools represented," said, Lori Morrow, an art teacher at Potomac Heights and Hickory elementary schools.

"It's amazing to have such excellent students at every school," said Morrow.

She said she was impressed with the quality of their work and degree of difficulty in some of the pieces.

This year's display was the second for Robin Wyne, 17, of South Hagerstown High School.

Her acrylic portrait of a woman and painted cardboard sculpture of a cake were featured this past week.

Wyne said she enjoys hearing feedback about her artwork.

"It's nice to have people come and look at all the entries," she said.

More than 1,000 people visited the museum on Sunday, making the exhibit one of best-attended the museum has offered, according to Robert Wantz, president of the board of directors.

Wantz said the museum has been holding the student exhibit for over 50 years.

Having the display helps promote art not only to the students but their families as well, he said.

"Art is a very exciting field and it's one way to get the students interested in it," he said. "They can say, `Look what I've done.' Then their parents and friends come to see it."

Most of the attendees visit the student's exhibit and then move on to view works in the rest of the museum, he said.

He said some of the students who have their artwork shown as part of the exhibit do go on to become professional artists.

Wantz said he enjoys viewing the children's artwork.

"It's a beautiful thing to be a kid and to have no inhibitions," he said.

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