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Student art show opens

By Staff | Oct 20, 2010

Many families took a stroll through the halls of the Lee County Public Education Center in search of their son and daughter’s artwork Monday night during the 18th annual Designs & Dreams Art Show Opening.
Lee County School District Secretary of Fine Arts Leigh Byer said the annual art show began 18 years ago as a vision of former superintendent of schools Dr. James Adams.
“It is the largest student display of art in the state,” she said, which has always been displayed at the district’s office.
The artwork, which is put on display for an entire year, is collected from all public elementary, middle and high schools in Lee County. Teachers are responsible for selecting and collecting the best artwork created by their students throughout the year.
A total of 647 pieces of artwork were chosen for this year’s show from among 1,600 pieces submitted.
The show, which takes three days to hang, is done by 30 art teachers in July. Byer said it takes that long because they have to take the existing art out of the frames and replace them with new works.
She said there are approximately 400 pieces of flat artwork hanging on the walls in frames and the remaining three dimensional, sculpture and ceramic pieces were placed in case work.
Byer said since the new district office opened it has provided a more gallery effect for the art show due to the long hallways.
“You can stand back and appreciate the piece of artwork when you look at it,” she said of the extra room.
Byer said the art show is nice for seniors who are applying for school because they can add it on their college application.
She said the great thing about the art show is you can frame a piece of crayon art and it becomes a masterpiece.
All 647 students who have their artwork on display at the district’s office will receive an “Artist of Distinction” certificate, which will be mailed to their school.
Byer said they are awarded with a certificate because it is quite an honor to have your artwork on display.
Board member Don Armstrong, who will be seated in November, took the time to walk the halls to see all the artwork that is on display. He said it was important for him to be at the ceremony because of the students’ accomplishments.
“Look at what our kids have accomplished,” he said. “These kids have worked their butts off.”
He said it felt amazing to walk around the building being surrounded by the artwork.
“I like seeing this, parents should be proud,” he said.
A swarm of smiles and “I’m so proud of you” filled the space around a Bayshore Elementary School fourth grade student’s artwork that hung on the wall at the district’s office Tuesday night.
“This is awesome,”10-year-old Alexa Lowman said about seeing her artwork hanging on the wall. “It makes me feel fantastic.”
Tara, the mother, said the letter that was sent home two weeks ago telling them their daughter’s artwork was chosen for the gallery did not mention what piece of art would be in the art show. She said it was a surprise once they walked upon the framed art hanging on the wall.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It feels amazing…it is quite an honor.”
Tara said she is happy that the district holds the art ceremony because “it really builds the confidence in the kids.”
“The level of talent we have is always outstanding,” Board Chairman Steve Teuber said.
The show will be on display until July 2011.