Sofia Kesling is in third grade at Tennerton Elementary School and is pictured with her artwork featured at the MIB Gallery in the Colonial Arts Center for the Upshur County Schools Youth Art Exhibit. Sofia said she had fun creating her flower using cool colors. / Photo by Beth Christian Broschart

More than 100 artistic creations crafted by Upshur students now on display at Colonial Arts Center

BUCKHANNON – French impressionist Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see,” and there is plenty to see and experience at the Upshur County Schools Youth Art Exhibit at the MIB Gallery in the Colonial Arts Center.

This is the third year for the Upshur County Schools Youth Art Exhibit which kicked off with an artists’ reception and opening Friday. Buckhannon-Upshur High School Art Instructor Heidi Thompson said there are more than 100 two-dimensional and three-dimensional art pieces in the exhibit.

“What we are trying to do is showcase the visual arts programs in Upshur County Schools,” Thompson said. “It was up to the school art teachers to select up to 13 pieces of artwork to be featured in this year’s show.”

Thompson said the exhibit features art made by students in grades K through 12, and most county schools participated.

“The pieces include watercolor, oil paintings, digital photography and sculpture – so the whole gambit of media,” Thompson said. “Something new this year is a People’s Choice Award and anyone who visits the gallery will get a ticket and they are able to vote for their favorite piece and at the end of the exhibit, we will tally up the votes to see who received the most votes.”

Thompson feels the People’s Choice Award gives families the opportunity to look around and begin a discussion about the pieces.  

“The quality of work featured is exceptional,” Thompson said. “We are really proud of all of the art students and their instructors. We have overcome a lot due to the COVID pandemic to get back to this point.”

Paula Ball teaches art at Washington District and Tennerton elementary schools. She said she is extremely proud of her students – especially the ones whose art is featured in the exhibit.

“I have always been artistic myself and I am the substitute teacher in this position,” Ball said. “To see what they have created without a lot of instruction for the whole year is very impressive.”

Bryson VanNostrand, president of ART26201, said he likes that art students are given the opportunity to pursue this type of expression.

“When I was in school here, we had social studies and science fairs at our schools. If you were good, you went on to the county and if you won the county, you went on to the state,” VanNostrand said. “To think this is a county-level arts fair is exciting. The arts are important, and they can lead to a life career. I think this helps the kids feel strong in what they do.”

Colonial Arts Center Board Member Alisa Mauk Lively said she was most excited about showcasing local students.

“The prospects of them coming into the Colonial Theatre and bringing their families and friends and coming back to shows we sponsor at the MIB Gallery, makes it even better,” Lively said. “Then they come back and see artists from another state or somewhere and they realize this could be them someday. That is exciting to me. I love our local art instructors and feel they do a wonderful job with our students.”

Emmett Ball is 7 years old, and he attends Tennerton Elementary School where he attends Jeanine Allen’s class. Emmett said as he was creating his work, he was inspired because he enjoys making art.

Emmett Ball has one of his art creations featured at the MIB Gallery in the Colonial Arts Center for the Upshur County Schools Youth Art Exhibit. Emmett attends Tennerton Elementary School. The exhibit is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m. through April 9.

Sofia Kesling also had a piece of her artwork showcased at the Upshur County Schools Annual Youth Art Exhibit. A TES third-grader whose teacher is Susan Tenney, Sofia said she cut out and curled the leaves in her piece.

“I needed nine big leaves and eight small leaves,” Sofia said. “I used cool colors, including pinks and blues. I made the middle by cutting them up skinny, rolling them up and gluing them on.”

Robin Ball has two pieces featured at the Upshur County Schools Annual Youth Art Exhibit. The first was a drawing of a girl with an angel and a devil; she said the second piece was a horse statue.

Robin Ball has two art pieces on display in the Upshur County Schools Youth Art Exhibit at the MIB Gallery in the Colonial Arts Center. The first is a horse statue and the second is a drawing she created. Robin is a senior at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. / Photos by Beth Christian Broschart

“It took me about two weeks to create the horse statue and it is made from plaster, paper clay and a wire structure,” Robin said. “I really like creating three-dimensional art, but drawing is my favorite.”

Robin’s drawing in the exhibit features a girl with the devil on one side and an angel on the other side. She said this represents choices we need to make.

“It represents making big decisions in your life and having to fight off making the wrong choices and using your mean or greedy side to get back at others,” Robin said. “We should choose the good to make our decisions – that is why the angel is placed higher in the picture.”

Robin said she loves her art classes and all of her teachers.

“I think Buckhannon has one of the best art programs,” Robin said. “Our art teachers value you coming up with your own ideas and they are super helpful. They take extra time to help you finish your projects and make art fun.”

Robin said she was surprised that she had two pieces selected for the exhibit. She is a senior at Buckhannon-Upshur High School and following graduation, she plans to attend Alderson Broaddus University where she plans to play softball.

The Upshur County Schools Youth Art Exhibit will be open to the public each Friday and Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. until April 9, 2022. The exhibit is featured in the MIB Gallery of the Colonial Arts Center, located at 48 East Main St. in Buckhannon.

Upshur County students who have one or more works displayed at the Upshur County Schools Annual Youth Art Exhibit include: Brycen Allen, Meghan Bailey, Kadyn Baisden, Emmett Ball, Robin Ball, Emma Beckner, Leah Bennett, Madelyn Bennett, Genesis Bohman, Madilynne Bouscher, Elacia Bowman, Vicky Bowman, Lorelani Browning, Maycee Burnside, Brooklynm Butler, Clover Butcher, Haley Butcher, Eliza Canter, Lexi Carpenter, Akeya Carr, Alivia Carr, Caroline Carr, Gemma Casella, Kaelyn Casto Paige, Jolene Chapman, Janis Childers, Gunnar Claypool, Mya Critchfield, Cheyenne Crites, Harper Currence, Ethan Cutright, Hannah Davis and Alissa Depoy.

Kinleigh Detamore, Taylor Feather, Holden Fisher, Kailey Gibson, Bruce Gooden, Jacob Ham, Kathryn Hamner, Alex Hawkins, Grayson Haymond, Aeliza Hibbs, Ava Hibbs, Emma Hickman, Kennedy Hinton, Dani Hovis, Abigail Hurst, Juliet Jenkins, Allie Johnson, Kaden Jones, Karson Karickoff, Lillian Keith, Sofia Kesling, Hailey Lashmit, Katelynn Legg, Aaliyah Lothes, Bailee Lowther, Zaia Lynda, Norah Malone, Leigha Manspeaker, Laurel Matheney, Miah McCue, Landon Miller, and Gianna Monteleone.

Maddie Montgomery, Halle Moody, Gabbi Moreland, Daniel Oliveria, Rebecca Pastorius, Andrew Perry, Carrigan Perry, Devin Posey, Elayna Propst, Kate Ramsey, Rayna Rhodes, Jozlynn Riffle, Kimora Riley, Kinsley Ripley, Reagan Russell, Brooklyn Sanders, Grace Shahan, Destiney Simmons, Kaitlynn Smallridge, Brooklynn Smith, Kiona Smith, Brittany Sponaugle, Marissa Stripiling, Destinee Sutherland, Katrina Tenney, Nora Tenney, Cadence Vincent, Lena Walker Rose, Angelina Winter, Ethan Wolfe, Kylie Wright, C.J. Zickefoose, and Landen Zickefoose.

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