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Elementary Art Show may be last of its kind

Posted: March 8, 2012 - 1:01am
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Elementary students take to the stage to receive their ribbons during the 7th Annual All Elementary Art Award at the Nugget Mall last Friday.  Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Elementary students take to the stage to receive their ribbons during the 7th Annual All Elementary Art Award at the Nugget Mall last Friday.

There is one more weekend to stop by the Nugget Mall and see the children’s art displayed at the All-City Elementary Art Show. The art show has become an anticipated community event since it started six years ago, held annually in March to celebrate “Youth Art Month.”

The artwork shows children’s perspective of the world, whether it’s a scientific drawing, or a self-portrait, a Northwest Coast formline design or an invention.

The artwork is on display through Sunday, March 11.

A reception was held at the opening of the show, when hundreds of family members gathered at the Nugget Mall to support their children who have art on display. The reception included a small ribbon ceremony, acknowledging the young artists.

The art show is produced by the Juneau School District’s two elementary art teachers, Nancy Lehnhart and Mimi Walker-Medenica, who were recently awarded a Mayor’s Award for the Arts for their work in the schools. The women said they have noticed that the children’s art has been improving in quality as a result of a comprehensive and sequential art program that benefits all elementary students. The Juneau School District’s elementary art program, a collaboration between the two art specialists and classroom teachers, was started six years ago by community and school district members who felt that an integrated art program was an important part of education for all students. It was modeled after the very successful Fairbanks art program, which began 30 years ago and is still going strong.

This will possibly be the last year of this art show. The school district is contemplating reducing the elementary art program as one of the cuts in next years budget.

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