Annual Student Showcase opening draws many, gives platform for youth expression

Published 7:01 pm Monday, March 11, 2019

Kate Snyder said the opening reception for the annual Student Showcase exhibit at the Community Arts Center is one of her favorite nights of the year.

“Because the students in the show absolutely glow with pride,” Snyder said, who is CAC’s director of marketing and development. “We are always thrilled by the turnout for this exhibit.”

Peytie Gash, left, and and Cali Boyd pose together in front of their art at the Student Showcase art exhibit opening. They are kindergarteners at Hogsett Primary School. Photo contributed

She said nearly 450 people turned out for Friday night’s opening reception. The exhibit is co-hosted by CAC and the Arts Commission of Danville-Boyle County, and is comprised of two concurrent exhibits.

Email newsletter signup

The Youth Art Fair is on exhibit in the Grand Hall, and the Centre Student Showcase is in the second floor Farmers National Bank Gallery. Since 2002, the Arts Commission has coordinated this opportunity for local students to exhibit their work to the community.

But the exhibit was originally held in Millennium Park. Then the show moved to local school gyms or foyers, until it found a yearly home at CAC, and it continues to attract hundreds of school-aged participants, and even more spectators.

Mimi Becker, director of the Arts Commission, said the partnership with CAC has been priceless because it offers a chance to leave the student work on exhibit for an extended period of time.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to see the creativity of kids in our schools and from homeschool programs,” Becker said. “Our art teachers encourage and inspire the students to explore art forms, art history and diversity of expression. The evidence is right on the walls.  You don’t want to miss it.”

“It’s a big step up from your mom’s refrigerator to hanging in a professional gallery,” Snyder said. “We’re pleased to be able to recognize the talented young artists in our community through this exhibit.’

Gavin Walker, a fifth-grader from Toliver Intermediate School, stands in front of his art during the opening night. Photo contributed

Snyder said the exhibits are important because there aren’t often that many opportunities for public recognition of student artists.

“There are no weekend games with packed stands, no major tournaments and trophies, no fireworks being launched in celebration of your fabulous new painting. This exhibit is that celebration,” Snyder said.

“The value of arts in a community cannot be overstated,” Becker said. “It is more than economic development and tourist dollars, it is a characteristic of livability and valuing the individual.”

The Boyle County 4-H Council also supports the Youth Art Fair by providing materials to students in both the Danville and Boyle County school districts.

This year’s participating schools include: John W. Bate Middle School; Boyle County Alternative, High and Middle schools; Danville Christian Academy; Danville High School; Forkland Home School Group; Hogsett Primary School; Junction City Elementary School; Kentucky School for the Deaf; Perryville Elementary School; Sunrise Children’s Services; Toliver Intermediate School; and Woodlawn Elementary School.

The Centre Student Showcase features artwork by 11 Centre students and includes painting, photography, printmaking, glass,and ceramic sculpture.


The annual Student Showcase is on exhibit at the Community Arts Center through March 29.