GRAFTON—The global pandemic that is COVID-19 has stopped a lot of things, but one thing that it was not able to dampen was the creative expression and artistic ability of youths in Taylor County.
Young artists were able to make a statement that will be seen on a larger scale, as they participated in the statewide Arts Alive! Competition. The annual exhibition is facilitated through the West Virginia Art Education Association.
The competition is an annual event to showcase outstanding arts education programs and student achievements in public schools. This is the eleventh year for the event that showcases students who excel in various mediums, including dance, music, Pre-Kindergarten, Science in the Arts, theatre and visual arts.
According to the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), Arts Alive! aims to support developing and established arts programs in public schools throughout West Virginia; inspire local education systems to embrace the arts as an essential part of every child’s education; and empower the broader learning community to advocate for comprehensive arts education in public schools.
The WVDE shared that, “Arts Alive! is dedicated to arts education in West Virginia and remains committed to providing a venue where the arts are paramount, inspired teaching is honored, and the work of young artists is celebrated.”
Because March is Youth Art Month here in West Virginia, students who compete and garner the attention of judges are showcased for their exceptional work.
This year, seven pieces of artwork were chosen from Mrs. Beth Roselius’s art classes at Anna Jarvis Elementary School. Those pieces represented Taylor County in the statewide Arts Alive! Competition.
Five winners were selected from the school. The winners include Laken Dillon, Bryton Andrews, Bryson McDaniel, Landen Hays and Joshua Roselius.
“We are so proud of these talented artists,” voiced Roselius. “Congratulations to each one of them.”
Due to the current pandemic, there was a virtual reception held on the WVAEA website, www.wvaea.com, for parents, teachers and community members to view the art and congratulate the winners on Saturday, February 27.
In addition, their artwork, along with that of Hadlee Price and Ashton Hodges, the other participants from Anna Jarvis Elementary School, will be on display for the Arts Alive! Festival at the Parkersburg Art Center until March 27.
“Great job to each of these young artists. Taylor County is a positive influence on our state,” voiced Roselius. “Thank you all for supporting the arts and continuing to provide opportunities for our youth to succeed. Thankfully, art has become a positive form of expression for students during a challenging year.”
She shared that creating art stimulates your brain in new ways, produces endorphins, and helps create a more positive learning environment saying, “Having art in our schools helps our students succeed in all areas of academics.”
Roselius invites individuals to check out some of the art projects on her YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6r-ZGQiBUPBjFMPRpvTtvA.