2017-03-02 / Editorial

Every child is an artist

Library Links
By Leslie Rounds

Children that grow up in the Saco School District will acquire some fine boasting rights. All of them are able to announce that their own works of art have hung in a museum. Since there are few adult artists who can make that claim, this seems like a magnificent opportunity (and achievement).

On Saturday, March 11, the every-other-year Student Art Show will open at the Saco Museum, (with an opening reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. the evening before) and it will be greeted by a large crowd of lively and proud visitors. It’s easy to understand the source of that pride. The collection of art is varied, bright, unique and glorious. Who wouldn’t be proud?

Each child in every grade, kindergarten through eight, will present some marvelous work of art. The theme this year is “Art Safari: How Animals Inspire Art.” As in previous exhibitions, the media will vary from papier mache to paint to three-dimensional constructions – collages assembled from found materials (which is really a lot like recycling through art). There will almost certainly be toothy grinned self-portraits, perhaps with the children portraying themselves as their favorite animals, bright, intricate weavings and imaginative drawings of pets and jungle beasts.

The display of art in the rear gallery will be a feast for the eyes. The variety and color will leap out from the walls. The gallery is so large and with such a high ceiling that it is the perfect venue for the sheer variety and color that the kids use in their artwork.

As I write this, we are taking down the “Winter in Maine” exhibition and planning our strategy for how we are going to carry the large, antique sleigh and the ridiculously heavy ice cutting device back down to the basement storage area. (Getting the sleigh back down there turns out to require removing the side from the back deck and then there is at least one eighth of an inch of clearance and a few breathless moments as that sleigh can only squeeze through the door in just one way.) None of the art has appeared yet, so I can’t tell you any more about the magnificent works your children and grandchildren have crafted under the careful and creative eyes of the school district’s art teachers (who are all artists themselves, of course.)

What I can tell you is that it has to been seen in its entirety to be fully appreciated. Five hundred words just can’t begin to describe this feast for the eyes. I know that not all of these talented children will grow up to be artists, but after taking a walk through the exhibit, you’ll wonder – why not? This exuberant, vibrant and highly entertaining exhibit is worth a visit, even if you don’t have any children in the school district. Come in and take a look.

Leslie Rounds is executive director of Dyer Library/Saco Museum.

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