Yesterday, I attended the annual Kitsap Arts and Crafts Festival. This year it was moved to Kingston . . . which was wonderful since the weather was hot and this location is near the waters of Puget Sound and the breezes off the water are the equivalent of nature’s air conditioning. It’s not the biggest arts and crafts festival in the area . . . however, it is one of the events in my area that showcases local artists and their crafts and I had been looking forward to going for quite a while.
I always enjoy going to arts and crafts festivals. It’s great to see other artists that have worked hard creating and then display their work for the public. I’m enthused and inspired at the same time . . . and usually, a bit poorer. Although, this year I was especially thrilled to walk through one of the exhibits, the Student Art Show. Local students in junior high, middle school, and high school are eligible to enter their art for the judged exhibit. Elementary school students may also enter . . . although, their work is not judged.
Walking through the students’ exhibit was a real treat! I was impressed with their talent and creativity . . . demonstrating impressive skill regardless of their age. Several of the pieces were for sale and most had been sold by the time I arrived. However, there was one piece that caught my attention
I was struck by the image of a girl peering out into the world . . . and then I read the information about the charcoal drawing “Chanel“. It was completed by Helena Peterson, an 8th grader at West Sound Academy, a college preparatory school for grades 6-12 in my area. 8th grade!!! Wow! I hadn’t graduated from stick figures at that age.
“Chanel” was for sale for such a modest amount that I knew she had to come home with me. I plan on having her hang in my studio to inspire me . . . and to remind me of the potential of young people. They’re capable of so much more than we sometimes remember . . . afterall, I was learning to weave at that age.
With the ongoing demise of art programs in our schools, it was refreshing and comforting to see such an impressive collection of work by students and know that there are some communities that endeavor to maintain and grow art programs. I hope the students that entered the exhibit recognize not only their talent and potential, but the courage necessary to publicly display their work . . . and allowing the public to judge it. They have inspired me! Great job . . . and thank you!