The Etowah Arts Commission is currently hosting the Central High School Art Show.
The event is a fundraiser that allows CHS student artwork to be displayed and sold at the Nancy Cantrell Dender Gallery in Etowah.
Proceeds from sales are shared between student artists and the school for the purpose of purchasing new material.
According to the Etowah Arts Commission, this annual fundraiser is a way to support local students, high schools and the hometown art gallery.
“Joyce Simpson is an art teacher there and she’s done a really good job of bringing it all together,” said Heather Vanskiver, executive director of the Etowah Arts Commission. “The kids also had a great opportunity to come here and see their art hanging on the walls which is awesome.”
Vanskiver thinks this event is a “multi-part opportunity” for students.
“On the one hand, just having your work on the wall is great for self-esteem and a good feeling,” she said. “In some cases we have artwork here that is part of a series, which is fantastic because you can see how these students’ art has developed throughout the school year, which is amazing. On the other hand, it’s a way of bringing young people into the gallery to show that the art of the neighborhood is relevant and relevant.
She believes it’s a “great opportunity” for everyone to come together and celebrate art in the region.
“I love it, it’s one of my favorite things to do,” Vanskiver said. “It’s a great opportunity to network and meet different families in the region. We have a few plays here where a parent was a student of Joyce Simpson and now their kids are, so it’s also become like a generational event to do these shows when that happens.
She believes she received good feedback from the students about the event as well.
“They liked having access to the gallery, they like being able to see their artwork on the wall, and they like having the ability to be able to sell it,” she said. “It’s so important that people come and leave comments for students, because they look forward to hearing how their works are being accepted by the region.”
The CHS Art Show is set to end soon – in early February – with a new show in its place.
“The next show will be Derek Keeton and an artist we had before, Thomas Lucas,” Vanskiver noted. “He donated the majority of his works before he left the state and his works were given to us to sell for fundraising, so we’re going to do a split show for these two people.”
Next, another student art exhibition will take place in April, with a focus on middle school students.
“The Regional Middle School Art Show spans multiple counties and we hope to get a lot of turnout with this,” she said. “It’s the brainchild of Allan Sibley, part of the East Tennessee Art Center. We’ll be using the Nancy Cantrell Gallery to house it, so we have a central location to do the show for all the kids. We’re here , open and excited to be there for the community.We also hope to host future art classes and we would just like people to come into the gallery and enjoy what is there for them.