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Gallery displays elementary school students' art

November 08, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Ben Williams' experience with art is exactly what Ron Lytle hopes all students can achieve.

Lytle, founder of the Contemporary School of the Arts & Gallery Inc. on West Franklin Street, said he thinks students need to be exposed to art education because it helps them excel in other subjects, like math and science.

Ben said he struggled with writing, but since he started studying art, he has become more proficient at creative writing.

Williams was part of a group of Mt. Aetna Adventist Elementary School students who had their works exhibited Sunday afternoon at the Contemporary School of the Arts & Gallery.

The local gallery offers a free after-school art program to public and private school students in the county. Lytle said he tries to reach out to more than 100 students a year through the program.

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Lytle said he usually picks about six schools a year to exhibit youth art in the gallery.

On Sunday, artwork from Mt. Aetna Adventist Elementary School students lined the walls of the gallery, including a watercolor painting of a lighthouse by 13-year-old Ben.

Ben said students were presented pictures of images to give them ideas for paintings. He said a lighthouse was his favorite image, and his painting shows a blue lighthouse with bright orange brush strokes in the background.

Ben said he would like to continue his pursuit of art, "but more of a hobby, not as a career."

Ethan Fishell, 14, had his painting titled "Angry" hanging on a wall among other art pieces.

In his assignment, Ethan said students were asked to pick an emotion and write about it.

The "Angry" painting resulted in an abstract-looking piece with red and black touches.

"I just pretended to get mad and started painting," Ethan said.

Ethan has been interested in puppetry and said he teaches a class about it in his school.

In his arts programs, Lytle said schools are presented with a theme, then they run with it.

Winners of the exhibit will be announced next week, Lytle said. First-, second- and third-place winners will receive gift certificates from Howard's Art Supplies and Frames, Lytle said.

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