Local News: Art exhibition showcases talents of young artists (6/6/22)

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LE MARS — The annual Le Mars elementary school art exhibit is in its final week at the Center des Arts Le Mars.

The exhibition opened on May 10 and its last day is Saturday June 11.

The exhibit features a selection of artwork by students from Clark, Franklin, and Kluckhohn Elementary Schools and Gehlen Catholic.

Art teachers are Gina Statema for Clark and Franklin; Kim Petersen for Kluckhohn; and Beth Schlichte for Gehlen Catholic.

According to Annie Laursen, program director at Center des arts Le Mars, the show takes place every year.

“It’s all elementary levels. The teachers are the curators, so they select the pieces to be exhibited. Each teacher can bring about 20 pieces from each school building,” she said. “The teachers make the labels, they put the pieces together to hang, they do the hard work, and then we can just hang them and enjoy.”

This year’s reception was held on Saturday May 14th.

“It’s still one of our best receptions,” she said. “We always get a lot of families and extended families coming out to cheer on their young artist, so it’s always exciting.”

During the welcome day, the staff and volunteers of the arts center also offer an activity for the children.

“We try to make it really fun for the kids. We have a scavenger hunt, so when they look at the art, it gets them looking a little closer rather than just looking at their own and being done. They actually have to find something by looking through the pictures. We still have that available for visitors coming in,” Laursen said.

Also during the reception, a game of artistic bingo was held on the lower level of the centre.

Laursen said it’s important to provide the elementary art exhibit.

“One because it’s such a good turnout, it brings more people here. It attracts a different audience than we normally have,” she said.

“We have kids here all the time, but I think that exposure extends to families who normally wouldn’t come here.

“Second, because we want to encourage these kids at an early age to express themselves and continue with art and see what we have here for them in the programs,” Laursen said.

Although she is always impressed by children’s artwork, she is quick to point out that teachers play an important role.

“These teachers are amazing at what they do. Their budgets are limited, they only have so many materials they can do things with,” she said. “The things they come up with and the way they showcase certain techniques and certain artists is really impressive. I’m always amazed at what they can do with the kids year after year. It’s great to see. They are the champions. »

Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 1pm-7pm, Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. The cultural center is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Laursen invites the public to come and see the works of young artists.

“We really want to encourage the arts at all levels and all ages in the community,” Laursen concluded.

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