Approximately 800 Anchorage School District students will have their art displayed around Anchorage for Youth Art Month.
Youth Art Month is a national program under The Council for Art Education, an organization that “promotes visual art education for all K-12 students,” they state on their website. Youth Art Month celebrates visual art, allowing students’ artwork to be publicly displayed for typically the whole month of March. It also aims to have art education recognized as an important factor in a student’s education.
“Last year, we had over 4,000 attendees, which was the highest attendance ever [for the display] at the museum, so it’s a big deal,” Leah Maltbie, ASD’s fine arts coordinator, said.
The main location of the art is at the Anchorage Museum. However, there are four additional “satellite” locations: the Chugiak-Eagle River Municipal Library, Anchorage City Hall, the ZJ Loussac Municipal Library and the Midtown Mall, formerly the Mall at Sears.
This year marks the 47th anniversary for ASD; the theme for this year is diversity.
“I proposed the idea of diversity thinking of the diverse nature of the city of Anchorage. As our discussion continued, we thought of diversity as a very broad subject including food, culture, ideas [and] the environment,” Maltbie said.
The majority of K-12 schools, minus a few charter schools in the Anchorage School District, are represented in Youth Art Month. Teachers get to select students’ best work from the year to be displayed.
“As a musician,” ASD fine arts director, Bruce Wood, wrote, “it is sometimes overwhelming to me what students can achieve in their art; the detail, the color, the accumulation of skill reflected in creativity is really stunning. The opening at the museum is one of my favorite functions of the year.”
Wood called the event an “incredible production.” With 400 pieces of art shown throughout the district from students of all ages, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Last year’s display had a variety of small and large pieces of work from two and three-dimensional pieces to jewelry. A new project this year had students paint downtown Anchorage’s trash cans, which will be on display at the museum before being permanently placed in the city.
Youth Art Month in Anchorage will be on display from March 1 through April 5, excluding the Midtown Mall, which will open March 4 and is up until April 6. An opening ceremony will be held at the Anchorage Museum on March 1 at 6 p.m. Since that night is part of First Friday at the Anchorage Museum, attendance is free.
For more information on Youth Art Month, visit counciforarteducation.org/youth-art-month.