On Oct. 18, students, parents and teachers alike joined in the historical Lyndon House Arts Center attending the Biennial Art Exhibit. Paintings, photography, sculptures and more, all created by students from across Clarke County School District, filled the building, hanging from the walls or sitting on displays.
This year’s event marks the first show in three years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the show was delayed, but Didi Dunphy, Director of the Lyndon House Arts Center, explains how this delay had a positive impact on the diversity of the artwork included.
“There’s a lot of sculpture which I’m really happy about this year. We don’t usually get sculpture, and (this year) we have weaving and photography, both of which have not really been represented that much so it’s exciting,” Dunphy said.
This year’s theme, the prefix “RE-”, intends to incorporate the recovery processes of the adjustments necessary for students and teachers these past few school years due to the pandemic. These themes are included in the curriculums of CCSD art classes and activities, and teachers select and enter creations into the show.
“I think (the show) impacted a lot of people in different ways. I think the theme plays towards that flexibility, because we all had to be very nimble in the way we approached education and visiting galleries and museums. We had to find a real flexible bone to do that, so I think the exhibit might show that a little bit,” Dunphy said.
The exhibit helps to provide opportunities for both visual and other fine arts programs from across CCSD. The Clarke Central orchestra, Cedar Shoals orchestra, Cedar music technology, and Clarke Central guitar classes all performed throughout the evening.
Cedar junior, NZ Saltz, a guest and performer from the music technology class, returned to the exhibit, this time as a featured musician.
“It’s just a reflection of the community. It serves a lot of purposes, but the fact is every individual person has a message that they want to send out and that includes high schoolers too, even though very often we don’t get to,” Saltz said.
The opportunities this exhibit creates for young artists aren’t limited to the high school crowd. Betsy Bush, Barnett Shoals Elementary School art teacher points out its value for her elementary school students.
“I love that other people get to see my kids artwork, and my kids get to have their moment in the spotlight. I feel like kids are at a point in their lives where they’re doing what everyone else tells them to, and letting them have a second to be the boss of the show and have everyone see that we’re all here for you is really great,” Bush said.
After three years, the Lyndon House has illustrated feelings of recovery from the pandemic. The art displayed throughout the gallery represents the rehabilitation, rebirth, and revitalization that also embodied the artists.
“I think art is a really unique form of expression, and for a lot of kids, that’s the most comfortable way for them to express themselves. I think our culture is so visually saturated that it’s almost irresponsible not to address a strong foundation,” Bush said.