MCS teams with chamber for Youth Art Show

By Brian Sweeney
To celebrate Youth Art Month, Margaretville Central School and the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce are collaborating on an art show in area communities.

The first annual Margaretville central School / central catskills Chamber of Commerce Youth Art Show features exemplary student work created by a number of students. The art is now on display at businesses in Margaretville, Arkville and Fleischmanns and will remain up for public viewing through mid-April.

Youth Art Month is an annual March observance to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality art programs in schools. To help commemorate the occasion, Margaretville Central School (MCS) art teachers Jen Wentland and Michele Dietz approached the local chamber of commerce about participating in the art show.

Chamber on board
Ms. Dietz said she was part of a similar arrangement with the chamber at a school where she previously worked. She and Mrs. Wentland felt that this type of program would be beneficial at MCS and the chamber agreed.

The Youth Art Show includes students from every grade level, with approximately 90 participants. The works were created during regular classes and the art teachers selected the exceptional pieces to be featured in the show. Chamber volunteers will judge the art show. The winners in various categories will earn gift cards and art supplies. The prizes will be presented at an MCS ceremony in April.

The instructors noted that art education plays a number of important roles for children, including:
• Developing students’ creative problem-solving skills;
• Teaching sensitivity to beauty, order and other expressive qualities;
• Giving understanding of multicultural values and beliefs;
• Reinforcing and bringing to life what students learn in other subject areas.
The art teachers said they’ve been very pleased with the support from the school, the chamber and the business community — and, most importantly — the experience provided to their students.

Great experience
“We are so excited to partner with the chamber of commerce for this art show to celebrate the talent and hard work of our students here at MCS.  It’s been such an exciting opportunity for our kids!” Ms. Dietz commented. Mrs. Wentland concurred.

“This has been a wonderful experience for the students, the community, Ms. Dietz and myself. It means so much to the students and is an excellent way to showcase the creativity here at MCS.
“The chamber of commerce and local businesses have been helpful and generous with their spaces; we encourage everyone to take a moment and look at the artwork that our students worked so hard to create,” remarked Mrs. Wentland.

The students, likewise, have been very enthusiastic about taking part in the show. Some of their comments follow:

“It’s an honor to have my artwork featured in the Chamber of Commerce Show,” — Courtney Scheffler, Grade 7. 
“It’s an honor and it’s awesome!” — Sylvia Hoffman-Kowatch, Grade 7
“It must be special to be in the Chamber of Commerce Show and I’m delighted to take part in it.”  —  Kayla Laise, Grade 7
“It was pretty awesome to win, I never guessed that my work would be in the show. It was really fun to go see the work in the community” – Elia Tanzer, 9th grade winner
“I find it an honor for me to have earned first place. It was also quite unforeseen but a pleasant surprise” – Simone Stegemoller, 10th grade winner
“I enjoy creating art and to win for a show like this helps me know that I have talent; it inspires me to continue making artwork. Thank you to the Central Chamber of Commerce.” – Luz Camano, 12th grade winner

The MCS Youth Art Show is being displayed in Margaretville at: the Flour Patch, the Cheese Barrel, Miller’s Drug Store, 768 Main, NBT Bank, Sluiter Agency Inc., and the Masonic Building; at The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in Arkville and at the Tinder Box and Community Bank, both in Fleischmanns.