Suffolk student artwork displayed

Published 9:23 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Work by Suffolk student artists will be displayed at the Old Dominion University Tri-Cities Center through September.

Third grade Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School student Nathalie Gonzalez, 9, loves to draw and is proud of her neon jellyfish. “I’ve never painted a fish like that before with those colors,” she said. “It’s so cute.”

The eighth annual Suffolk Public School Art Show had its grand opening on Tuesday. The young artists enjoyed refreshments with their parents and art teachers at the gallery.

“It’s a dual purpose of helping the community by showcasing the children’s artwork and to draw attention to our location,” said Ellen McClintock, ODU Tri-Cities Center faculty and a host for the show.

Email newsletter signup

Suffolk Public School art teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade select student art to be displayed in a hallway on the center’s second floor. Art is selected in the spring and in the fall to showcase as many student artists as possible.

“I feel so happy to have these students so proud, and their parents are too,” McClintock said.

John F. Kennedy Middle School eighth-grade student Izayah Lewter had his work on display: an undersea scene of fish stylized with the peace sign symbol and rendered with impressive shading techniques. Art teacher Kim Owens said her students were studying 1960s counter-culture.

“They had to incorporate peace signs in their pictures, and they learned how to shade to make them three-dimensional,” Owens said.

It was the second time Lewter’s art was displayed at the show and the culmination of weeks of work. Owens said he focuses on his art in class and works hard yet seems relaxed by the process. His mother, Sheketa Lundy, was proud of his handiwork and impressed by the effect it had on him.

“It seems to be calming for him, like a stress reliever,” Lundy said. “It’s really something he loves to do. I’m proud of him.”

Kilby Shores Elementary School art teacher Angie Salerno said the show boosts her students’ confidence, and they’re always excited to have their art on display.

“The more student artwork we can get out there, the more exciting it is,” Salerno said.