Youth Art Month is celebrated nationally in March each year and is designed to educate the community as to what is being taught in the visual arts curriculum, helping to emphasize the value of art education for all students. Across the country, events will occur throughout the month at the national, state, county and local levels to celebrate the talent students possess.
As part of this observance the Ocean Township Library and Terner House Gallery will be the site of the Ocean Township School District’s Youth Art Month Exhibit during the entire month of March, according to Jeffrey Leute, art teacher at Ocean Township High School. In addition to the exhibit, an artist’s reception will be held on Thurs., March 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.at the Ocean Township and Terner House Gallery at 701 Deal Road in Ocean Township. This year’s theme for Youth Art Month is “My Art – My Story.”
“Approximately 300 people attend the annual opening each year,” Leute said. “Mostly students from all schools in Ocean Township come out to the event which includes Ocean Township Elementary School, Wayside Elementary School, Wanamassa Elementary School, Ocean Township Intermediate School and Ocean Township High School.”
Leute added that there is artwork from approximately 300 students who have been selected from the Ocean Township school district.
“All Ocean Township students are eligible but due to limited space availability at the library only a portion can be selected and established to represent the wide range of art curriculum and talent. All art teachers in the district are responsible for selecting, mounting and hanging the hundreds of pieces of artwork,” he said.
Artwork will be exhibited throughout the entire library and Terner House Gallery. Elementary school’s artwork will be exhibited in the children’s section; the Intermediate School artwork will be exhibited in the Reading Room behind the circulation desk and high school artwork will be exhibited in the Terner House Gallery.
“Hosting the Ocean Township School’s Youth Art Month exhibit has become an annual event for the township library,” Beth Henderson, Branch Manager of the Ocean Township Library, said. “Doing so brings the artistic efforts of local students to the attention of a broader population than would have access to the pieces if the show were held at the school.”
Henderson added that she enjoys having the opening reception at the library “because I can take a turn at the microphone and remind parents that they should bring their children to the library more than just this one night each year. The library staff will be ready and waiting to issue library cards and check materials out throughout the reception.”
Leute said the primary purpose of the reception/exhibit is to showcase the wide variety of students’ talents.
“It’s an important opportunity for students to receive recognition for all their hard work and effort they put forth in creating their artwork and for the public to see what has been created,” he continued. “All students find it rewarding to have their artwork selected and presented to the public.”
For more information about the Youth Art Month “My Art – My Story” artist’s reception contact Beth Henderson, Branch Manager at Ocean Township Library at 732-531-5092 or Jeffrey Leute, art teacher at Ocean Township High School at 732-531-5650 ext. 1315.