Art exhibit gives entire community a chance to display talent
For the 10th year, the Washington County Arts Council is inviting all art educators in Washington County to enter work for the “The Art Educators of Washington County Exhibit.”
“This exhibit is open to all art educators in the county from public school, private, homeschool even community college,” said Washington County Arts Council Executive Director Mary Anne Burke.
She said the exhibit provides enrichment for all, especially the students who view the exhibit as well as encouragement for educators and an opportunity to showcase their art to the community and their students.
It also encourages students and the community to become patrons, consumers and future supporters and advocates of the arts. Plus, it provides exploration and an opportunity for a career path consideration for students.
Burke said the exhibit was inspired by Don Viar before he retired from Washington County Public Schools as their visual art curriculum specialist.
“He wanted his teachers to produce art, not just teach it,” Burke said.
She said the current supervisor of visual and performing arts at the Washington County Public Schools fully supports this exhibit and feels confident that each succeeding year’s exhibit will include more art teachers and supports the inclusion of retired art educators going forward.
“WCPS enjoys a great community partnership with WCAC – that we are pleased to continue. We are very appreciative that WCAC supports and hosts this art educator exhibit annually. Our art educators look forward to this event – showing and sharing their creative works together, with their students, and with the community,” said Matt Wilson, visual art curriculum specialist at Washington County Public Schools.
Wilson said it is important for their art teachers to be “working artists.”
“This helps keep their own creative spirit and skills thriving, which translates into passionate art education in the classroom with their students. It is of great benefit for young artists to see their art teacher personally enjoying and creating art themselves. This helps affirm and validate the instruction art educators seek to provide to their students,” Wilson said.
Burke said the exhibit is an invitational exhibition and all work will be accepted.
“Each educator can submit three works that have been completed within the last two years,” Burke said.
She said they get upwards of 100 pieces submitted by local art teachers.
“We never know what we are going to get. We get 2D and 3D pieces, occasionally we get a video,” Burke said.
The exhibit will run from Feb. 6 through March 3. The gallery will be open Tuesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.
An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. An “Artist Talk” is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the gallery.
Burke said over the years, the exhibit has been very popular.
“Families bring their children to see what their art teacher does,” Burke said. “We expect to have a big crowd for the reception.”
The exhibit is sponsored in part by The Mary K. Bowman Historical and Fine Arts Fund.
“The sponsorship helps with the cost of everything and we will give an award for the people’s choice,” Burke said.These are two of the entries submitted by Rebecca Fishow into the art exhibit. (Submitted photos)
This is the third time Rebecca Fishow, a creative writing teacher at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, has participated in the exhibition over the past four years.
Fishow said she works primarily in oil paint and is submitting two small oil paintings for the exhibit this year.
“They are both slice-of-life narrative scenes. One depicts diners eating lunch on a restaurant patio, and the other depicts two people relaxing on a couch. In my work, I aim to capture everyday moments that convey an atmospheric sense of human relationships,” Fishow said.
Although Fishow is primarily a fiction writer, not a visual artist, she said she appreciates the opportunity to share her paintings.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to show students who are interested in the arts that they don’t necessarily have to do just one thing, if they have more than one artistic interest. I also love the idea of teachers sharing their work with students, since they share so much with us. It could show them that there are ways to keep doing what you love even when you’re out of school and older,” Fishow said.
Artwork is still being accepted through next Tuesday. Entries may be dropped off at The Washington County Arts Council, located at 34 S. Potomac St., Suite 100 in Hagerstown. All entries must be received by WCAC no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
For additional information on entering the exhibit, contact Chris Brewer at 301-791-3132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top photo: One of Martin Nikirk's entries into the exhibit. (Submitted photo)