Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 4, 2013

Students find self through art

TRAVERSE CITY — Beth Bynum believes that if you want people to be art lovers, you need to start while they’re young.

One way to encourage creativity is to recognize them in a public venue — and that’s just what will happen next week, when the Artcenter brings the sixth annual “K-12 Student Art Exhibition” to the Traverse Area District Library.

“It’s a really great way to celebrate children’s art and for the community to see it,” said Bynum, a retired teacher who heads up the show.

Eligible students were from any school within the five-county Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, and included public, private, parochial, charter and home-schooled students in grades kindergarten through 12.

“Not all the art is coming out of art classes, so that’s why we open it up to any student,” Bynum said.

“It’s a real-life opportunity and just to be in the show is very thrilling and motivational,” she said.

Katie Zemsta is the middle and high school art teacher at Forest Area Community Schools in Fife Lake, and will be submitting several pieces of her students’ art.

Students get nervous about showing their art in a public place, she said, but she reassures them that it’s an honor to be recognized.

“It’s great exposure for the kids and it’s a great opportunity for our school to be seen in a large public area like the Traverse City library,” she said.

Nichole Jones and Tom Adair teach art at East Middle School in Traverse City and have participated in the show for several years. They said their students look forward to be chosen for the show, recognition that’s also a confidence builder for them.

“Art classes help students with building their creativity, along with confidence,” said Jones. “Public art exhibitions are a great way to support our arts programming in the public schools. Sharing the students’ work often helps people understand the importance of Art Education.”

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