Amazing youth artwork exhibition at CCCAC

Miriam Pickens/For the Mining Gazette Teachers Karen Scholie from Barkell Elementary and Viktoria Klein from Baraga High School pose with youth artwork on display at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock.

My favorite art show at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock, is the annual Celebration of Youth Art Month. Each year, art teachers around the Copper Country from Baraga to Copper Harbor collect amazing pieces of art from their students and send them to the gallery for this one awesome show.

Bonnie Loukus, assistant director of the CCCAC, was hanging the show on Wednesday, Feb. 28. “I mix all the schools together and then I start to see different mediums and colors that go well together. When the students come, it’s interesting for them to see their work displayed with pieces from other schools.”

On March 2, I attended the opening reception for this event. It is an explosion of color and creativity. The Art Center was packed with young families checking out all the pieces, and Daniel Schneider demonstrated the antique Letterpress, helping the children making cards.

There are paintings, drawings and sketches; the older students in Susan Rosemurgy’s class at the CLK school in Calumet have done pastel drawings on black paper of fantasy scenes which are amazing. The Dollar Bay elementary children added colored paper images to their paintings to create a collage. One of these, titled “Skipping School,” created by a kindergartner, depicts a very happy child floating above his school in a multicolored watercolor sky.

I was very impressed by a small book created by students at the Calumet High School in partnership with Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, the Sea Grant Great Lakes Network and Keweenaw Land Trust. This is a meticulously illustrated science book all about the natural and historical wonders of the Copper Country and Lake Superior. The LSSI is located at the Copper Country Intermediate School District in Hancock and has brought hands-on learning to classrooms all over the Keweenaw. It’s nice to see science and art coming together in our classrooms.

If you enjoy fiber arts, you can see some small tapestry weavings and knitted balls, created by the Dollar Bay High School art classes, instructed by Jade Babcock. Sculpture is featured prominently in this show, and you can see tiny totem poles created by the students at Houghton Elementary, along with clay pieces by students all over the Copper Country. It’s really nice that so many local art teachers have the equipment to teach ceramics even in the elementary school classes.

Several of the local art teachers visited the opening and saw it as a really cool opportunity to share ideas for projects with other teachers. Karen Scholie, art teacher at Barkell Elementary commented, “Every year, I look forward to seeing all of the incredible talent from the youth in our close-knit communities. I am honored to know some of the students, the art instructors who inspire them, as well as the community leaders who support us in what we do.”

Youth Art month started in 1961 and is administered through the Council for Art Education, a national organization that promotes visual art programs across the United States. Its main sponsor is the Art & Creative Materials Institute Inc., which has been marketing quality art materials and providing safety standards through a certification program. Youth Art Month exists to recognize art education as a vital part of a holistic curriculum for the development of creative and divergent thinking. The program also tries to connect art education to resources such as community events and organizations. The Celebrate Youth Arts Month exhibition is open until March 30. You can also enjoy pictures of the children’s artwork featured in the Gazette throughout March.

As I left the building, I had to stop and study the painting “It’s Cold,” which is in front of the Arts Center, part of the Public Art Walking Tour in downtown Hancock. This is a painting by local artist Nancy Kromer of her husband Norm, who posed for many portraits over the years and was a supporter of the arts. Norm passed away in February this year.


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