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Young artists visit High Horse Gallery

Kindergartener Micah Fail, first grader Kaylee McCann and sixth grader Marcus Fields were able to see their own artwork on display at the Capitol as well as the works of local artists at High Horse Gallery.  Behind the students, from left to right, are Trustmark representative Annette Cartwright, High Horse Gallery owner Mary McKinley, Faye Stokes, W.O. Parmer art teacher Ashley Sams and Tera Simmons. | ADVOCATE STAFF / JONATHAN BRYANT

Kindergartener Micah Fail, first grader Kaylee McCann and sixth grader Marcus Fields were able to see their own artwork on display at the Capitol as well as the works of local artists at High Horse Gallery. Behind the students, from left to right, are Trustmark representative Annette Cartwright, High Horse Gallery owner Mary McKinley, Faye Stokes, W.O. Parmer art teacher Ashley Sams and Tera Simmons. | ADVOCATE STAFF / JONATHAN BRYANTA

A handful of Butler County’s most promising young artists paid a visit to the High Horse Gallery for a sample of the cream of the local crop.

The students were selected to represent the district at the State Education Superintendent’s Visual Arts Exhibition at the Alabama State Capitol, where their artwork has been on display throughout the month of February.

The trip to downtown Greenville was the final stop on the field trip, where the students were able to soak in the inspiration of artists both within the county and from the other side of the globe.

Butler County Schools curriculum director Tera Simmons was present for the trip as well, and she added that it was thanks to Trustmark representative Annette Cartwright that the students were able to experience anything at all.

“Without their donation, we wouldn’t have been able to make the field trip,” Simmons said.

“They made a contribution to academic competitions, and because of that, we were able to let the students see the Capitol today.  It was a great experience for everyone.”

The donation came courtesy of Trustmark’s Community Reinvestment Act that, Cartwright explained, does exactly as the name would imply.

“We give back to the community as much as possible for academic concerns for those students that can oftentimes slip through the cracks,” Cartwright said.

“For every child to get to go and do and be involved in something means a lot to Trustmark, so we’re glad we could help.”

One of the county’s blossoming young artists, sixth grader Marcus Fields of Greenville Middle School, was able to see his own mother’s artwork on display at the High Horse Gallery.

Simmons said that allowing the students to visualize a future goal in seeing other artists’ work was an example of sowing the seeds for a handful of potentially bright futures.

“We think it’s been a great opportunity for our children to be able to see their artwork on display, see other artwork all around Alabama from students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and to be able to come home and apply it to a local level, too,” Simmons said.

“And who knows?  Some of these students may turn out to be great and renowned artists in their own right.”