These colorful sculptures were created by students in the Art 3 class at Spring Grove High School they are part of the Student Art Show that is currently on display at the Bluff Country Artists Gallery. Many more student-created pieces are also featured including the pieces pictured on the wall in the background of this photo. Stop in soon to see the talent that abounds in local students. PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWS GROUP<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
These colorful sculptures were created by students in the Art 3 class at Spring Grove High School they are part of the Student Art Show that is currently on display at the Bluff Country Artists Gallery. Many more student-created pieces are also featured including the pieces pictured on the wall in the background of this photo. Stop in soon to see the talent that abounds in local students. PHOTO: MARLENE DESCHLER/BLUFF COUNTRY NEWS GROUP

"The arts are the way to foster the four critical skills necessary for our children to succeed in the 21st-century workforce: collaboration, flexibility, imagination, innovation," stated world famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a speech at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. This view of the importance of the arts for children is something that the Bluff Country Artists Gallery embraces.

In celebration of Youth Art Month, the Bluff Country Artists Gallery is hosting a Student Art Show. Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art and art education for all children and to encourage public support for quality school art programs. It was established in 1961, "as a forum for acknowledging skills that are not possible in other subjects (www.arteducators.org)."

The Student Art Show at the Gallery features artwork from all grades, kindergarten through 12th grade, at Spring Grove Public School. The majority of the work at the Gallery is from the 'Art 2' and 'Art 3' classes. The elementary's main art show will be during the Elementary Music Program at the school on Thursday, April 24.

"Youth Art Month is a great time to put the creative work of our students in the spotlight," said Spring Grove Public School art teacher, Renee Eiken. "As an artist, feedback, self-examination, and critique are crucial to the creative process. The 'Art 3' students have been 'putting themselves out there' in the classroom. When a sculpture or drawing is finished, they share constructive criticism with one another. Each artist gives his peers one positive and one constructive comment. The artist may then go back and change or improve the piece, or if they disagree, leave it as-is. In this way the artist sees his work through other eyes, and has the opportunity to find out if his message is received, or if it missed its intended mark."

Sculpture has been the focus for the 'Art 3' class. For their sculptures they have been using paper, mixed media and a new medium for them - Altered Books. The 'Art 2' class has been experimenting with value and lines to create complex work with movement and depth.

"The art show is another way to seek input from an audience," explained Eiken. "We would like people to attend the reception and meet these budding artists and share their viewpoint on the student artists' works. It is a great learning tool.»

The Gallery is hosting an artists' reception for all of the featured artists on Sunday, March 30, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. "We (the Gallery) invite the students as well as their families, friends, and the community to attend and meet the artists," said Gallery board member, Mary Zaffke. "We like to host the students' art show because it is supporting the emerging artist."

The Bluff Country Artists Gallery is located on Main Street in Spring Grove. They are open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Student Art Show is at the Gallery for a limited time. To help support the art program at the school, they are in need of yarn (full skeins or scraps) and plastic containers with covers (one- and two-cup size).