Youth Art Month Decorates Downtown Zionsville
By Janelle Morrison
It’s one sign that spring is on the way. The historic downtown will become a vast display of artwork created by students of the Zionsville Fine Arts Department (grades one through 12). Youth Art Month, an annual project organized locally by the Zionsville Community Schools that emphasizes the importance of quality school art programs, was established in 1961 by the Crayon, Water Color and Craft Institute Inc., the predecessor of the Art and Creative Materials Institute Inc., in cooperation with the National Art Education Association.
With an emphasis on art education, developing self-esteem, appreciating the work of others, self-expression, cooperation with others and critical thinking skills, participating schools and museums nationwide will be nurturing their young artists throughout the month of March through the YAM project. YAM’s primary objectives are to expand art programs in schools and stimulate new ones and to increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits. Throughout downtown Zionsville, students’ artwork will be displayed on front windows and/or inside businesses, the Hussey-Mayfield Library and the SullivanMunce Cultural Center. YAM aims to provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative learning; to encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations and individuals everywhere; and to recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.
Sarah Zack, the Zionsville YAM coordinator and art teacher at Union Elementary, explained the importance of YAM and the overwhelming support that she and her fellow organizers receive when reaching out to the business community for their assistance in promoting YAM.
“The Zionsville Fine Arts Department started the Zionsville YAM in 2011,” Zack explained. “Our mission is to showcase our students’ talents and hard work. We also work to increase the community’s understanding and interest in art, and to provide additional opportunities for individuals to participate in creative activities. Every time we ask a merchant to hang artwork in their businesses and the SullivanMunce to open up their entire gallery to support our student artwork, and even the library — they offer free art classes and help us coordinate our classes with other businesses in town — we get an overwhelming positive reaction. People are so excited to participate in this and it’s become a tradition in Zionsville during the month of March.”
Zack credits the efforts of all of the YAM organizers, especially those of Erin Goodman and Jennifer Gibson. Both are with the Zionsville Middle School Art Department.
In addition to the support that is received by the local businesses and restaurants, the teachers and students have a close relationship with the SullivanMunce Cultural Center, which is equally passionate for the promotion of YAM.
“We love partnering with Zionsville Community Schools during Youth Art Month,” said Cynthia Young, executive director of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center. “It gives students a real sense of what it is like to exhibit their work in a professional setting, and it also gives the public a chance to see the outstanding work our art teachers in Zionsville are doing with our kids. Creative thinking — thinking outside the box — is important to our future economy; art in any of its forms is crucial to imparting creative thinking in our youth.”
The SullivanMunce Cultural Center will host one of two First Friday Receptions for YAM on March 7, 2014, from 5 to 8 p.m., along with Goodman Jewelers, who will host their reception also on March 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. These receptions are open to the public. The students’ artwork will be on display during the entire month of March at participating businesses and restaurants in downtown Zionsville. The Hussey-Mayfield Library will have an expansive collection of student art on display during YAM. The library promotes art education through its participation in YAM and with the free art classes it currently has available. Free art classes will be held at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library each Saturday during the month of March.
March 1, 11 a.m.-noon: My Art, “Dragon Drawing,” grades K-6
March 8, 10-11 a.m.: Zionsville Community Schools, “Creating a Batik,” ages K-12
March 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon: SullivanMunce, “Fish Kites,” grades K-6
March 22, 11 a.m.-noon: A Space to Create, “Drawing Your Dreams,” ages 5 and up
Additional information and registration is available at www.zionsville.lib.in.us/hmmpl/page/events. The Zionsville Fine Arts Department is selling window clings for $5 and yard signs for $20. All proceeds will be used to support art programs in the community of Zionsville. Window clings will be available for purchase at each ZCS school and supporting Zionsville establishments. Please contact [email protected] for a yard sign.
Ballerinas and Bruisers
Jewel Box Jewelers
SullivanMunce Cultural Center
Black Dog Books
The Nail Connection
Art in Hand
CV Art and Frame
Haimbaugh Welcome Center
Old National Bank
Five Thirty Resale
ESC Board Room
Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library