The Blount County Schools board room was transformed into an art gallery Thursday night as students from county elementary and middle schools showed off their artwork to family and friends.
The 12th Annual Blount County Elementary and Middle School Art Show showcased work from students in kindergarten through eighth grades throughout the system.
Each elementary school was represented by a maximum of two pieces of artwork per class. Each middle school was represented by a maximum of five pieces of art per category, per grade.
Students in kindergarten and first grades were awarded participation certificates. The work of students in second through eighth grades were judged by a team of local artists. Competition categories included drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking, sculpture, 2-D textiles, 3-D textiles, ceramic vessels, ceramic sculpture and group projects.
Judging were Susan Colcough, Nancy Erickson, Lynn Ladd, Jacob Prater, Yichen Reneau and Emily Waters.
Presentation boards and tables were situated throughout the board room, holding the artistic treasures. Students led proud parents and loved ones around the room to see their work.
Middlesettlements Elementary School fourth grader Corbin Murphy showed his drawing that earned honorable mention. Corbin said is his favorite class. “The art teacher puts things on a table to see how well we can draw,” he said.
Corbin’s father, Bart Murphy, enjoyed checking out his son’s work. “It’s his thing,” Murphy said. “I’m extremely proud of him.”
Carpenters Elementary School third grader Kylie Sliger showed the sculpture she did of a multi-colored turtle to her mother, Amy Sliger. “I had a lot of fun painting it, but you had to get right on the spots,” Kylie said, as mom replied, “She’s a perfectionist.”
Karen Moffatt, mother of Carpenters Middle School eight grader Laura Moffatt, said art is crucial in schools. “We know how art helps develop parts of the brain related to math and logic,” she said. “You’re giving the students more ways to grow their brain and look differently at the world.”
Mary Jones, a sixth grader at Union Grove Middle School, showed off her watercolor piece that earned honorable mention.
“We were doing sea scapes, and trying to figure out what the scene would look like if we were standing on the sand,” she said.
Mary’s sister Dydema Jones, a fourth grader at Mary Blount Elementary School, won second place with her ceramic sculpture. “I like the clay,” she said. “I like making the impressions and putting in the beads.”
Art teachers from throughout the county hosted the event and served refreshments.
“Students look forward to this all year long,” said Carpenters Middle School art teacher Marsha Krout. “We start in the fall saving artwork to be used in the show.”
Yvonne Wells, art teacher at Eagleton Middle and Walland Elementary schools, said the students bring their whole families to the reception.
“They bring their parents, both sets of grandparents and siblings,” Wells said.
Approximately 600 folks were on hand for the show.
Union Grove Middle School art teacher Lynne Webb said students are always enthusiastic about the event. “The kids love it,” she said. “They look forward to it all year.”