College features Suffolk art

Published 8:23 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Students from 11 Suffolk schools are getting broad exposure for their talents, as their artwork is on display at the Old Dominion University Tri-Cities Higher Education Center on University Boulevard in Portsmouth, just outside of Suffolk’s Harbourview area.

Rhyan Anderton’s watercolor and wax work is one of the works on display atthe Old Dominion University Tri-Cities Center in the Harbour View area. Anderton is a Nansemond River High School student.

The work is on display on the second floor in the building. The college will host an opening event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today to honor the artists.

The elementary schools featured in the show include Booker T. Washington, Creekside, Northern Shores, Oakland, Nansemond Parkway, Mount Zion and Robertson. John Yeates Middle, Kings Fork Middle, Kings Fork High and Nansemond River High schools also have work displayed in the show.

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“The children get very excited about it,” said Mary J. Barnes, facilities coordinator at the Tri-Cities Center.

Sandee Darden, who teaches art at King’s Fork Middle School, said that Suffolk became involved in displaying artwork at the Tri-Cities Center after she viewed the work of another school system displayed there and asked Barry Smith, center director, if Suffolk also could display work there.

Smith liked the idea so much that he agreed to pay for 36 frames for the students to display their work.

Old Dominion’s Tri-Cities Center partners with Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk public school systems to give students a venue to display their work.

Suffolk students have been displaying work at the Tri-Cities Center twice a year for the last three years. ODU hosts a show for Suffolk students in the fall and in the spring.

Each of the 21 Suffolk schools has an opportunity to display work during the course of the school year. Ten schools are featured in one event, while 11 schools are featured in the other.

The art teachers at each of the participating schools are given three frames to fill. There is no particular theme for the spring show or specific media featured. The artwork selected was left to the teacher’s discretion.

According to Barnes, the program is a good way to connect the ODU Tri-Cities Center with the community and to encourage students who may be thinking about attending college one day.

The college pays for the opening receptions for each show, Darden said.

“They go to a lot of effort for us,” she said. “We think it’s a great thing that ODU offers a reception in honor of artists and their families.”

“They pay for everything and give each student a certificate for participation,” Darden said. “We appreciate ODU and Barry Smith so much for doing that for us.”

“The artwork is awesome,” Barnes said. “You can’t believe that a young child could do that. It looks really good upstairs.”

The artwork will be on display until June 7.