By Kelsey Ligon
Step into any business in Zionsville during the month of March, and you will likely find original artwork by Zionsville students.
This March marks the sixth year the Zionsville Fine Art Dept. has participated in Youth Art Month, a nationally recognized observance of the importance of art education.
According to Sarah Zack, the YAM District Coordinator, YAM “provides a forum for acknowledging skills that are fostered through experience in the visual arts that are not possible in other subjects offered in the curriculum.”
The month will kick off with a First Friday Gallery Walk from 5 to 7 p.m. March 4 at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center, Peace Through Yoga and Art in Hand. These three spots will have large student displays, but artwork can also be found at the Hussey-Mayfield Public Library, Zionsville’s Educational Service Center Board Room, Robert Goodman Jewelers and more than 40 other Zionsville merchant locations.
In addition to the displays throughout Zionsville, the library will host three free art classes: the “Fanciful Giraffe” March 5, “Tissue Paper Transfer-Working with Color and Pattern” March 12 and “Cultural Masks” March 19.
For Zionsville Art teachers, YAM means their students get to share their work with the community. Erin Goodman, an art teacher at Zionsville Middle School, shared that one of her students, JaVaughn Vestey, pulled up an image of his artwork from last year on his iPad to share with the class.
“He glowed with pride as he explained how his grandma took a photo of it on display and emailed it to him,” Goodman recalled. “He had it saved to his photo gallery on his iPad.”
Another Zionsville art teacher, Brenda Jalaie, explained that the experience is incredibly validating for her students.
“They are hanging on the wall for you to see,” she said. “And when they hear, ‘I love that,’ or ‘Is that yours? Awesome!’ that justifies them as an artist.”