Arts event showcases projects by students from area schools

A record number of visitors attended the 32nd annual Celebration of the Arts show at Shops at Seymour.

The event at the end of April showcased more than 2,200 pieces of art from nearly 1,400 Seymour area students, ranging from kindergarten to seniors in high school at both public and parochial schools.

“I’ve never seen a crowd this big on Saturday,” said Mariella Wehmiller, art teacher at Seymour and one of the organizers for the event. “They were waiting in the parking lot for the opening at 1.”

The event was a chance for students at Seymour Community School Corp. elementaries, Immanuel Lutheran School, St. Ambrose Catholic School and Trinity Lutheran High School to show the effort they put forth through the course of the year.

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“Picasso said, ‘Every child is an artist.’ We’re giving them a chance to prove he’s right,” Wehmiller said.

Seymour-Jackson Elementary School students Kylie Reed, 5, and Kinsey Reed, 7, who attended the event and had art entered, said they enjoyed the art show and getting to see all of the things made by the other grades.

“I liked the Zootopia one,” Kinsey said of an art piece made by a Seymour High School student.

“I liked that one,” Kylie said pointing to a piece depicting the characters from Disney’s “Tangled,” also done by a Seymour High School student.

The art show was a great chance for students who have an interest in the arts to get feedback and experience in the field.

“I enjoy the creativity (of the arts). You can do anything you want, and there are so many different ways,” said Seymour High School freshman Ali May, who said she plans on attending college and possibly studying computer animation.

“It’s something that me and my sisters both are interested in,” said Seymour High School sophomore Marissa Pires. After a moment, she joked, “I wanted to be better than them.”

Trinity Lutheran High School seniors each were given their own space to showcase their work, while students at other schools often had their pieces selected by the teacher, which was a tough decision that they took very seriously.

“It’s really difficult selecting the ones we enter,” said Ashley Wehmiller, art teacher at Seymour-Redding and Cortland elementary schools. “I teach over 700 students, and I can only bring about a fourth of that.”

Students were judged by teachers to meet the criteria of the project set for them, with a focus on completion, execution and focus.

“I had some of the best work that got left behind because the ones that were really invested in it couldn’t complete it in time,” Ashley Wehmiller said.

It was possible for students to have more than one piece entered into the show.

Seymour High School junior Lauren Price had nearly 10 pieces entered.

“It’s the only thing I feel I’m really good at,” she said. “My mom was good at art. She taught me when I was younger. My dad is an artist, too. He does tattoos.”

Price also was offered a chance to do a piece for the charity auction, which was conducted April 30.

“Truthfully, I felt honored,” she said. “(Art teacher Don Brown) chose two people, and I was one.”

The first day of the show served as a time to showcase the efforts of the students.

On the second day of the show, the group had a series of events planned to go along with the show, including a reception, face painting by high school students, snacks, drinks and sidewalk chalk drawing. Southern Indiana Center for the Arts also conducted a make it and take it project.