Art museum presents annual student art exhibit

April 19, 2012|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • A stink bug sculpture crawls over other Bester Elementary School artwork at the Washington County Public Schools art show at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

Some of the budding van Goghs and Picassos might still be in kindergarten. But they’ve already cleared a high rung on the ladder of creative success.

They will have their artwork displayed in a museum.

A tradition for the past 60 years, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts will host an exhibition featuring the artistic expressions of local students.

The Washington County Public School Art Exhibit includes the work of students in kindergarten through grade 12.

The elementary art will be on view from Saturday, April 21, to Sunday, May 6, in the Groh Gallery, while the talents of middle and high school students will be spotlighted Saturday, May 12, through Sunday, May 20.

Elementary school students, families and friends are invited to an opening reception on Sunday, April 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. A reception for the middle and high school levels will take place on Sunday, May 13, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Judging for the elementary display will be on Friday, April 20, and the secondary artwork will be judged on Friday, May 11.

The exhibition is sponsored by Centra Bank.

More than 2,500 works of art are expected to be on display, said Don Viar, Washington County Public Schools curriculum specialist for visual and performing arts.

“Not every student has a piece in the show,” Viar said. “Elementary teachers try to get as many in as possible, while the secondary teachers are more selective.”

All genres and mediums will be represented.

Jennifer Chapman Smith, collections and exhibitions manager with the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, said the annual exhibition showcases art education in Washington County Public Schools and celebrates the relationship between the museum and the local school system.

“This is a very important exhibition for the students and one many of them will remember even after graduating,” she said.

“The students and their families enjoy visiting the museum during these exhibits to see their works of art on display and to see their friends’ works of art, as well,” she said. “It’s also an opportunity for art teachers to show off their students’ works.”

Smith said the Public School Art Exhibit always is popular and the opening receptions draw some of the museum’s largest attendance numbers.

Attendance at the receptions has exceeded 2,000 people, while show attendance has drawn more than 8,000.

“It’s a very exciting time at the museum,” Smith said.

In addition to the student art exhibition, the museum has partnered with the Washington County Public Schools to co-create a museum-literacy program, Smith said. The program connects students to important works of art in the museum’s collection and expands their awareness of the museum.

“The museum has been involved in some capacity with Washington County public schools for most of its 80 years,” Smith noted.

If you go ...

WHAT: Public school art exhibit

WHEN: Elementary school student exhibit: Reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22; exhibit continues through Sunday, May 6. Middle and high school student exhibit: Reception 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 13; exhibit continues through Sunday, May 27.

WHERE: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, 401 Museum Drive, City Park, Hagerstown.

COST: Free

CONTACT: Call 301-739-5727 or email

MORE: Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Herald-Mail Articles