Washougal, WA - Washougal School District and Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance have joined forces again to shine a spotlight on student art during Washougal Youth Arts Month (WYAM). March is recognized nationally as Youth Art Month.
The cornerstone event for WYAM is the Washougal Youth Arts Month Gallery, showcasing student works created in art and Career and Technical Education classes from all Washougal schools. This year it will be held in a new location at the Washougal High School Excelsior Building at 1401 39th Street on March 23-25 from 5-7 pm and March 26 from 2-5 pm. It’s free!
“Our young artists have been working hard all year to create art to share with our community,” said Cape Horn-Skye Elementary and Canyon Creek Middle School art teacher and WYAM gallery organizer, Alice Yang. Art pieces to be displayed include multimedia, watercolor, clay, video, and include works by WHS Career and Technical Education students with photography, metal, and wood pieces. In addition to the displays of art, music has been added to the gallery with WHS choir students Lily Barrett and Megan West to perform one song each on Saturday at 4:20 pm.
“Making the event even more special, the student-operated Panthers' Cafe will be open on Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm for coffee creations for purchase,” said Margaret Rice, WSD CTE Director. “And on Saturday from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm, CTE Culinary program students will be serving free appetizers they prepared in class, while supplies last.”
Yang will also have a loom set up for gallery visitors to be a part of a community weaving project to create fabric art.
“The Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance has a wonderful partnership with our schools and has funded and helped facilitate a number of student-created public art pieces,” said WACA Board Member, Rene Carroll. “But our favorite collaboration is WYAM and the gallery specifically. The level of talent these young artists exhibit is impressive. It is wonderful to help share this work with the community and give students recognition for their efforts.”
Like so many other events in 2021, last year’s WYAM gallery was presented online. “Although the online gallery was so beautifully done, there's nothing like seeing an artwork up close and personal,” Yang remarked. “The art teachers and students are so excited to have an in-person art show this year.” Past in person WYAM galleries has hosted hundreds of families and art lovers stopping by each day to enjoy the student work.
Washougal Youth Arts Month received formal recognition from both the City of Washougal and Washougal School Board with proclamations being signed at City Council and School Board Meetings last month. “By collaborating in this rich arts endeavor with our community, we are supporting a partnership opportunity to know, nurture, and challenge all students in Washougal to rise to their creative potential,” said WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton.
Youth Art Month started nationally in 1961 when the Council for Art Education and National Art Education Association named March as Youth Art Month to recognize art education and the value of art to create a better quality of life for all people. Research indicates that high-quality art educational opportunities can improve critical-thinking skills and even help to foster important values such as empathy and acceptance.
For a full list of scheduled art activities and events throughout the month of March, go to http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/