The artist within: Students get a chance to show off their talents at Student Art Expo

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 25, 2017

By Rebecca Rider

SALISBURY — Kate Donaldson is a blur of energy as she moves through the wire display stands covered in art at Salisbury Civic Center. She’s jumping and skipping, pulling her family behind her until she arrives at a colorful, abstract crayon drawing pinned with a red ribbon.

“I won third place!” she said, bouncing on her feet in excitement.

“I didn’t know that she was so good,” father Seamus Donaldson joked. “…Everything she learned she learned from me.”

Kate, a first-grade student at Sacred Heart Catholic School, is one of hundreds of Rowan County students who had their art on display during the Carolina Artists Guild Student Art Show.

The show opened Thursday morning and remained open to the public until noon Friday.

The Carolina Artists Guild has been running the Student Art Show annually for at least 10 years, said Genevieve Martin, guild president.

“I think it’s a cultural opportunity for Rowan County,” she said.

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade — whether they go to public or private schools or are home-schooled — can have their work displayed at the show.

“This is for everybody,” said Carolyn Blackman, a guild member.

Ilse Cardelle walked around the large, open room in the civic center with her children. Two of her daughters, Caroline and Mary-Grace, had works featured in the show.

“They appreciate not only having their work displayed but also seeing the amazing talent in Rowan County,” Cardelle said.

The two have had art displayed before, both here and at the Waterworks student show.

“They have a lot of opportunities, I think, for a small town for art to be displayed,” she said.

For the Cardelles, art is something that runs in the family.

“All of my children are artists,” she said.

Students seeing their own works hanging in a gallery — even a temporary one — is one of Blackman’s favorite moments of the Student Art Show.

“When they look at it, they just grin,” she said.

Blackman and Martin said they would like to reach a point where every student in the county has a piece on display. Both believe that exposure to art is invaluable to students. Art is a mode of self-expression, Martin said. It can build esteem and has been shown to stimulate brain activity.

“We want to encourage them to continue building their art,” Blackman said.

Students in each category were awarded first, second or third place or honorable mention. But every child who participated received a certificate.

“We regard all the work highly,” Martin said.

This year’s sponsors were Cheerwine and Salisbury Civic Center.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.