Local elementary, middle and high school students lined the floors of Oliver Hall on Oct. 25 to showcase their artwork at the 13th annual opening of the Metro Student Art Exhibit.
A tradition since 2003, the Metro Student Art Exhibit is a partnership between the School of Education and the four major school systems in the area: Richmond City Schools, Chesterfield County Public Schools, Hanover County Public Schools and Henrico County Public Schools.
Art specialists and teachers from each of these school systems select 20 or 30 of their students’ creations each year to be displayed on the walls of Oliver Hall throughout the academic year. In addition, five pieces, selected as award winners, remain in the school permanently.
“The original motivation for the exhibit was to beautify our building, and since we are a School of Education, it made sense for us to partner with K-12 schools to help us,” said Dr. Diane Simon, senior associate dean of the School of Education, who worked with public school art specialists to establish the exhibit more than a decade ago. “It is incredible to see the excitement of the children and their families as they pose for photos beside their creations.”
While having their artwork selected is certainly an honor for the students, they are far from the only ones to benefit.
“The faculty, staff and students in the School of Education take time to muse about what the young artists may have been thinking or to admire vibrant colors or unique drawings,” Dr. Simon said. “The kids are so proud of themselves. and it makes us proud as well for what this partnership has become.”