Kid creatives: Youth Art Month highlights young artists in Zionsville


If the Zionsville community feels particularly artistic these days, there’s a good reason.

Youth Art Month, the annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education for children and encourage support for quality school and community art programs, is underway at Zionsville Community Schools, SullivanMunce Cultural Center and around town.

CIZ arts month octopus
Student-created artwork that celebrates Youth Art Month, including sculptures, drawings, pottery and 3d art, is on display at Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library

Youth Art Month is celebrated in communities across the nation. In Zionsville, the month celebrates young artists of all ages and capabilities, showcasing their creations in multiple venues around town and encouraging others to join in.

Zionsville Community High School senior Arianna Tussinger, 17, is the president of the school’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society. She said her brother and sister are budding musicians, but for her, art has always been where she feels passionate.

“I was more art oriented. I love it so much,” Tussinger said, adding that her preference is for drawing and painting.

Tussinger said the art showcased across town during Youth Art Month is a good representation of the programming available at ZCS.

Tussinger also said art plays a role in more than just creative classes.

“Art is definitely being incorporated into a lot of jobs,” she said. “I’d like to go into marketing, so I am definitely going to use all those graphic design skills and combining elements. I also would like to minor in art, I haven’t decided quite yet but I think it would be cool.”

Harriet Ayshford, 16, is a sophomore at ZCHS. Her photo painting is one of dozens of pieces of artwork on display at SullivanMunce.

“I like how you can express yourself,” Ayshford said of how art touches her life. “Each person has a different perspective on how they view art, so (I’m) just letting that flow out.”

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Student-created artwork that celebrates Youth Art Month is on display at SullivanMunce Cultural Center.

The students have been spending Saturdays in March teaching classes at the library with younger children, showing them some basic art concepts while participating in a fun project.

The students said Youth Art Month is an ideal way to expose the community to the joys of art. They also encouraged other students to consider art classes as they move through the school system, even if only for one or two semesters.

“I think everyone should get involved with art,” Tussinger said. “I think it’s a really good, rounded education, but it’s also just fun. You get to work with all the other students and teachers who like art, and there are so many extracurriculars that you can get involved with. It’s a good way to make new friends, and it’s a good way to meet people in town who have the same interests as you do.”

The students’ artwork is on display at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center, Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, Robert Goodman Jewelers and in windows at businesses around town. The exhibition continues through March 28.

CIZ arts month brothers
Nablus, 10 and Ramallah, 8, took part in the “roll a mask” art project at Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library on March 9. (Photos by Marney Simon)


The Council for Art Education administers Youth Art Month on a national level.

The national Youth Art Month Program is designed to encourage support for quality school art programs for grades K-12.

Youth Art Month provides a forum for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences, including problem solving, creativity, observation and communication.

Youth Art Month exists to:

  • Recognize art education as a viable factor in the total education curriculum that develops citizens of a global society.
  • Recognize art is necessary for the full development of a better quality of life for all.
  • Direct attention to the value of art education for divergent and critical thinking.
  • Expand art programs in schools and stimulate new art programs.
  • Encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
  • Provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.
  • Increase community, business, and governmental support for art education.
  • Increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.
  • Reflect and demonstrate the goals of the National Art Education Association that work toward improving art education at all levels.

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