ODU showcases student art

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The halls of the Old Dominion University Tri-Cities Higher Education Center echoed with chatter and excitement on Tuesday as students, teachers and parents convened for the opening of the semi-annual student showcase.

A handful of students, in kindergarten through 12th grade, were selected by their art teachers to have their work displayed on the center’s second floor.

“The students love getting the recognition,” said Ellen McClintock, ODU Tri-Cities Center academic advisor.

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Now in its seventh year, the showcase features the students’ work during the fall and the spring. The center also displays works from Chesapeake Public Schools students at another location in the building.

Carol Payton, art teacher at Driver Elementary and showcase coordinator, said she’s appreciative of the opportunity the showcase provides for the students.

“It’s such a nice location — they are such a great host,” she said.

“People who couldn’t normally see student artwork can come here to see it.”

The showcase was introduced by Barry Smith, former ODU Tri-Cities Center director, according to McClintock.

“He thought it would be a great idea,” McClintock said.

Along one first hallway is a mix of elementary and middle school works. The far hallway features artwork from high school students.

The works vary in composition, color and style. Among the selections were mixed media, tempera, oil and watercolor, among others.

“This is a nice mix,” Payton said.

Lisa Morrison, an art teacher at Pioneer Elementary, said the showcase serves as inspiration to younger artists.

“This is a starting off point for talking about art,” she said.

Morrison added when the younger students see the work of the middle and high school students, it keeps them motivated to stay in the field and further their abilities.

“It encourages them for the future,” Payton said.

Morrison said teachers also learn from each other and ask questions about different art techniques and styles.

Alexis Griffith, a student at Oakland Elementary School, was surprised she was selected for the showcase.

“I was shocked because I didn’t think I would get it,” she said.

Griffith did a mandala piece, which highlights radial symmetry.

“I like how I did the colors,” she said.

Kaylie Hewitt, a junior at King’s Fork High School, made an oil pastel piece.

“Art gives me inspiration from simple every day things,” she said.

Hewitt plans to major in art in college, and Griffith is considering continuing art in middle school and beyond.

Morrison and other art teachers in attendance hope the student showcase continues, and they appreciate what it does for students’ self-esteem.

“This is an excellent opportunity to see student artwork outside of Suffolk,” Morrison said.

The art will be on display until springtime. It is free to visit the Tri-Cities Center.