SASHS students to present art at SHAPE Gallery in March
SHIPPENSBURG — In conjunction with National Youth Art Month, Shippensburg Arts Programming and Education (SHAPE) will hold the opening of its latest exhibit, “Six.” on Friday, March 8, beginning at 6 p.m.
Observed in March, Youth Art Month is dedicated to promoting art and art education in the United States. Schools across the United States participate, often with the involvement of local art galleries, museums and civic organizations.
“Six.” is a collection of work from high school artists is the Advanced Placement Studio Art at Shippensburg Area Senior High School. Featured artists are Kristie Decker, Ty Fitchet, Maddie Gardner, Lexi Mowers, Kaitlyn Ridley, and Samantha Willhide. Under the instruction of their teacher Aric Sites, the students created pieces with a central theme of “galaxies.”
All artists strive for the opportunity to showcase their work in a public setting. Luckily for these budding artists, a unique opportunity has risen. In addition to filling the gallery with paintings and multimedia pieces, the students are also responsible for installing the exhibit, organizing and running the opening reception, and arranging gallery sitting during regular operating hours. This all-inclusive approach to learning gallery operations offers the students real-world experience that is essential toward continuing a career in art.
The talented student artists at SHAPE’s newest exhibition have promising futures in the world of art. While their future goals vary, one thing that rings loud and clear is the artists’ opinions of their work and why they are driven to create.
“Art is not just something that is ascetically pleasing to the eye but it is something that you can feel with your heart as well,” says Decker.
“When you show others your work . . . it’s often hard to believe that you accomplished something so beautiful or meaningful,” Willhide says. “But no matter how proud I am I always want to get better or try something new.”
“I always feel a bit more complete after I complete each piece – and that keeps me motivated to keep working,” says Gardner.
The exhibit will open with an evening of art and hors d’oeuvres March 8 at SHAPE Gallery, 20 W. King St. Ryan Brennan, also a Shippensburg Area Senior High School student, is the featured musician for the reception. The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit is open until March 29.
In coordination with the annual student art exhibit, “Young Voices” spotlights students’ creative writing skills. Students will have the opportunity to present their creative writing — poetry, fiction or non-fiction — by reading it aloud and in working with other creative writers.
On the evening of the “Young Voices” reading, SHAPE gallery opens March 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to offer light snacks and beverages before and after the reading. Guests can also view the “Six.” exhibition. Attendance is free, and community members are encouraged to come celebrate the creative work of Shippensburg’s artistic young voices.
SHAPE has organized two workshops on March 5 and 12 at Shippensburg Area Middle School (SAMS) from 2:45-3:45 p.m. SAMS teachers Susan Toms and April Hoover host the workshops, and English department faculty and students in creative writing facilitate workshops.
Participants will then present their work Tuesday, March 19, at SHAPE gallery from 7-8 p.m. at the “Young Voices” event. Interested students from the middle and high school are encouraged to participate. For detailed information, contact Hoover and Toms at the middle school or SHAPE board member Tom Crochunis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gallery’s regular hours are Wednesday through Friday 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about “Six.” or the gallery itself, visit www.shapeart.org or call (717) 532-2559.