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Children's Playhouse seeks kids' art

Article Published: Nov. 26, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Do you have a prolific pint-sized Picasso? A runt-sized Rembrandt? If you have a kid in your family, chances you have one masterpiece or maybe a dozen taped to your fridge right now.

The Children's Playhouse is teaming up with the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA) to get those masterpieces out of the kitchen and into a museum.

TCVA is hosting the first ever juried "Children's Art of the High Country" exhibit, which will run at the Turchin Center on the Appalachian State University campus from Feb. 4 through March 26, 2011.
The Playhouse is currently accepting digital submissions for this exhibit at Submissions must be received by Dec. 20. A public exhibition reception will be held March 4, from 7 to 9 pm.

Part of the magic of childhood is the joy all kids take in creating art, playing around with paint and Play Doh, crayons and markers, glue and paper.

Playhouse executive director Kathy Parham believes that kids learn a tremendous amount from making art; that is why art materials are always available at The Children's Playhouse, and art-making has been central to the children's museum's offerings since its inception eight years ago.

"To dip a brush in paint and make a mark is maybe the ultimate 'cause and effect' experience for a child," Parham said. "Whether they are creating geometric forms in the medium of Play Doh or mixing blue paint and red paint with their fingers, they are artists learning to express themselves, and they are also scientists making discoveries."

Although it is commonly acknowledged that for young children, the process of making art is often more important to them than the final product, Parham points out the products are often strikingly beautiful. There is a "freshness and a sincerity" to the art, she said, "as well as textures and colors that are wonderful to behold."

"We want to show these young artists that we value what they create," she said.

Playhouse board member and exhibit committee chair Martha McCaughey said the goal of the exhibit will be "to highlight the developmental importance of early involvement in the arts and the fine work of child artists in our region."

The Playhouse invites submissions of 2-D and 3-D artwork from kids aged from infants through eighth grade living in Watauga, Ashe, Avery and Wilkes counties.

There is a $5 fee per submission, with a limit of three submissions per child. Kids are welcome to cover this cost by approaching local businesses or individuals (including family members) to sponsor and pay for their submission. Kid sponsors will be acknowledged on all accepted artwork at TCVA.

Selections for the exhibit will be made by jurors Christy Chenausky, Lora Davis and David Modler. They will consider submitted work in the following age ranges: Age 2 and under; age 3-5; K & 1st graders; 2nd & 3rd graders; 4th & 5th graders; and 6th, 7th, & 8th graders.

All submissions will also be included in an online art exhibit on the Playhouse website, and all entries will receive both a certificate of appreciation and a free pass to The Children's Playhouse. Artists included in the TCVA exhibit will also have the opportunity to sell their work.

McCaughey stressed that The Children's Playhouse will be happy to help anyone who does not have access to a digital camera or otherwise needs help submitting a digital image of their work. Parham asked that families or schools call The Playhouse by Dec. 10 at (828) 263-0011 if they need help making a digital image of the artwork. The submission deadline is Dec. 20.

The overall exhibit benefits The Children's Playhouse and is sponsored in part by grants from the High Country Water Media Society, the Watauga County Arts Council, and the Kiwanis Club of Boone.

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