Area Schools Host First Collaborative Art Show, Auction

Area Schools Host First Collaborative Art Show, Auction
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OCEAN CITY – Pocomoke area schools gave their students an opportunity to showcase their artistic talent last Friday in an art show and auction that raised money for three art departments.

The Celebrating Exceptional Abilities Art Show was hosted at the Art League of Ocean City and featured student pieces from Pocomoke Middle School, Pocomoke High School and Cedar Chapel Special School.

Alex Tobiassen, art teacher at Pocomoke High School, said Principal Annette Wallace presented the idea to her after seeing a video. The two then reached out to the middle school and Cedar Chapel in what would ultimately become a collaboration project.

Matthew Record, principal at Pocomoke Middle School, said the talent found in the schools’ children ultimately led school officials to produce an art collaboration between the three schools.

“These kids have talent and abilities not seen on the front page of the newspaper,” he said. “This is like their band concert.”

From beginning to end, Tobiassen said the planning process took nearly six months to complete. Once event organizers narrowed their focus and enlisted school participation, high school students visited the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore to get inspiration and ideas for the show.

Throughout the month of March, Tobiassen said students participated in work days, in which students from the high school, middle school and Cedar Chapel came together to create their art projects.

Kearston Cox, a student at Pocomoke High School, said days that were spent working together on the artwork were a fun way to participate and raise funds for the school.

“I really liked working with the special education kids,” she said. “I think it was a great experience and I liked making the artwork myself.”

Area-B-150x150.jpgPieces on display at the art show were divided into four collections – collage, texture, wave and fruit – in which students utilized tissue paper, paint, bubble wrap, salt, fruit and other materials to produce their own creations.

“We wanted to choose pieces that were non-representational,” Tobiassen said. “When you do things that are a little more abstract, it allows the student complete autonomy as far as their creative process. It also creates art pieces that anyone can connect to. So we wanted to use a lot of different materials.”

Throughout the night, parents, educators and community members were given a chance to participate in both silent and live auctions, with Sen. Jim Mathias as the guest auctioneer. Money raised at the event will be divided among the three schools’ art departments, but Tobiassen said the main goal is to expose other parts of Worcester County to the students’ artistic endeavors.

“It’s nice for the northern end of the county to see how amazing Pocomoke’s talent is,” she said.

Nancy Connell, a visitor to Ocean City, said she heard about the art show through a friend and decided to attend the auction.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “To have the kids be able to display their works in a professional gallery is wonderful.”

State Delegate Mary Beth Carozza, an attendee at the auction, said she came to support the students and extend an invitation to submit artwork to a Shore Art Exhibition in Annapolis next session. She said the exhibition’s first attempt brought together artists Patrick Henry, Rina Thaler and artwork from a Snow Hill art gallery.

“Next year I would like to highlight artwork by our student artists, and I thought this would be an excellent event to see the talents of our young artists and encourage them to share their talents in Annapolis,” she said.

Tobiassen said the auction was a great way to introduce students to professional art settings and community members to the students’ work.

“It’s the first of many, hopefully,” she said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.