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LHS students to hold art exhibit

Next week, art students from Luverne High School will have the chance to show off their hard work and dedication by hosting an exhibit at the John Harrison Cultural Center.

“Dr. English wanted to incorporate more arts education in the Crenshaw County Schools as one of his goals as the new superintendent. So one way to fulfill that goal was to start up the LHS art program this year,” said LHS art teacher Pam Smith.

“It has been several years since they have had an art program. There have been 63 students that have taken art this year, seventh grade and grades 10-12.”

After teaching art for 36 years from the elementary through the university levels, Smith retired from full-time teaching last year. After hearing about the art program at LHS, she decided to come out of retirement to teach part-time to help start the art program back.

“I feel it is important to display student art as often and in as many environments as possible. This validates what the students create as being worthwhile and important. It makes them feel good about themselves,” Smith said.

“A big part of being an art student is being able to present work. For many student artists, this show is their first opportunity to connect with an audience outside the classroom.”

Every student in art this year was encouraged to enter their artwork in several different media categories, such as: drawing, painting, mixed media and collage.

The students will be judged in grade divisions seventh, 10th and 11-12th grades. Each category in each grade division will receive a first, second and third place ribbon.

“As students progress from grade to grade, they become increasingly aware of art being more than just and enjoyable part of their day,” Smith said.

“Art education is important to our youth because it not only develops their creative talents, it also builds self-esteem, offers ways to express themselves and develops critical thinking skills. Art becomes more a part of who they are.”

Through the years, Smith has seen multiple students grow and mature. One of her most rewarding moments in teaching art has been seeing her seniors receive art scholarships.

This year, three of her students, Anna Brooks, Hope Davis and Hannah Helms, all received art scholarships to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College for $1,500 per semester with artwork they had completed this year at LHS.

“The art exhibit is a striking testament to the talent and diversity of Luverne High School students, and signifies an exciting landmark for those hoping for a fulfilling career in the arts,” Smith said.

The exhibit will be held on Tuesday, May 10 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.