Creativity abounds in area schools

Published 9:08 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2016

By Stephen Cowles

Who knew there was so much artistic talent in Isle of Wight County and, for that matter, the rest of Western Tidewater?

I did, for one.

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In the past several years working at The Tidewater News, I’ve attended assorted art shows presented by the area school systems. Just last week, there was a one-day only expo in Georgie D. Tyler Middle School. (Go, Titans!)

What the students produced is more than just colorful and cute — it’s often astounding and always inspiring. Astounding, because they can make ideas and images in their heads and put them on paper, in photography, sculpture or even from a tablet.

How do they do that? I’ll bet even many parents of the children at the shows ask themselves the same question, especially if neither mom or dad can draw or paint.

Inspiring, because being able to create in almost any shape, form or fashion shows that there are people who can do such things, and no less significantly that they have the opportunities to do so.

Not every student is going to be the next David Hockney or Cindy Sherman, but those who go on to make art their mission will enrich the lives of all around them.

Generally, none of the art at these shows has a price tag, so I couldn’t buy anything. But during the recent event, I took several photos of the art and the students for the paper. Many of those images will stay in my camera for months to come.

When the school systems get their money for the next fiscal year, I hope each will devote some extra dollars for the art classes. To my thinking, art is no less important than athletics, biology or (shudder) calculus.

Stephen H. Cowles is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. Email him at