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Art by WCPS art teachers on display at new gallery

February 07, 2013|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE | crystal.schelle@herald-mail.com
  • The current exhibit at Washington County Art Councils new gallery features paintings by local art teachers. The new gallery is at 34-36 S. Potomac St. in downtown Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

Don Viar, visual arts coordinator for Washington County Public Schools, believes that “The Art Educators of Washington County” exhibit is about more than just art.

“It allows art teachers to show their work, which is a rarity,” he said. “It shows that they are artists, not just teachers.”

The show, which opened last weekend, will host an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at the Washington County Arts Council’s new location, 34-36 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown.

Viar, who taught art for 32 years at South Hagerstown High School, oversees the annual exhibit.

He said Rob Hovermale, supervisior of Visual and Performing Arts at WCPS, will play the piano from 5 to 7 p.m. during the opening reception.

Bester Elementary School art teacher Kelsi Dean is one of the teachers who will have work on display in the exhibit.

Dean said the piece she helped produce is a collaborative effort with Boonsboro Elementary School art teacher Alyssa Smith, Old Forge Elementary School art teacher Liz Wishard and Emma K. Doub Elementary School art teacher Rachel Barnhart.

The mixed media portrait, titled “thank don 1975,” was inspired by the show’s coordinator, Viar.

“The idea started during a monthly craft day,” Dean said.

She said Viar was an inspiration because “he has been a such a driving force. He is someone we look up to and appreciate.”

Dean said she wanted to be involved in the exhibit because she wanted to show that art teachers are both teachers and artists.

“It’s not just a job, but a lifestyle,” she said.

Dean said she wants visitors to the exhibit to enjoy the art.

“I just hope the exhibit allows them a chance to look into the life of an art teacher and see that it’s more than just what we do in the classroom — it’s about being passionate about art,” she said.

This is the first exhibit for the Washington County Arts Council in its new location.

Mary Anne Burke, executive director of the council, said the council just finished moving in this past weekend.

“It’s a lovely space and newly renovated,” Burke said.

The newest addition is that the council’s new location is totally handicapped accessible, she said, including a handicapped-accessible bathroom.

For those coming out to the exhibit, Viar said, he hopes people will get an appreciation of these teachers’ works.

“These guys are working artists,” he said.



If you go ...       

WHAT: “The Art Educators of Washington County” exhibit

WHEN: Opening reception Friday, Feb. 8; show continues through Wednesday, Feb. 27

WHERE: Washington County Arts Council, 34-36 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

CONTACT: Go to www.washingtoncountyarts.com





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