Parsons-Bruce Art Association plans to present a special month-long art exhibit featuring artwork by Halifax County Public Schools art students in observance of Youth Art Month.

The public is invited to an opening reception Sunday, March 8 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the Robert Cage Gallery at The Prizery in Downtown South Boston.

Youth Art Month was established in 1961 by the Art and Creative Materials Institute to recognize art education as a viable factor in the total education of all students.

For over six decades, the institute has encouraged commitment to the arts through schools, community organizations and individuals.

Moira Dempsey, art education teacher at South Boston Elementary School said, “Art is an integral part of our being. Art is our creativity side that helps us solve problems whether they are world problems or personal day -to- day problems. It is a way to express, relax, create and enjoy the world around us.”

Dempsey’s art students at South Boston Elementary School agree that art is one of their favorite subjects because it allows for creativity while expanding imaginations.

Fourth graders, Lacy Owen, John Cole, Nathaniel Klettke and Jamie Garret enjoy their art classes at South Boston Elementary.

According to Owen, “Art is important because people get to express their feelings and use their creativity.”

Cole added, “Art means a lot to me in many different ways.”

Klettke said, “I love art because it is fun to paint pictures and I love to look at beautiful, awesome pictures.”

Garret agrees and said, “I like art because I love to draw my feelings out on a piece of paper.”

J. J. Nelson, first grader at South Boston Elementary added, “When I’m working on art, I feel creative and happy. I like to use art to show animals in their habitat. If I don’t become a professional baseball player when I grow up, I want to be a professional artist.”

Fifth grader, Kierra Caddle thinks art is important to her because it allows her to show people her creativeness.

“Art helps express my feelings and helps me build self-esteem,” she said.

Art students of Jennifer Dunaway, Halifax County Public Schools elementary art teacher for several elementary schools, plan a tribute display to the animals affected by the recent devastation in Australia.

“My artists are from Meadville, Clays Mill and Cluster Springs Elementary. We brainstormed a way to show our concern and kindness for the poor animals that are struggling in the aftermath of the fires,” Dunaway explains.

“Although I help them with steps when sketching our subjects, the students add their own creative touches to the work to make it their own.” Dunaway added.

“The students feel that art is a safe way to explore their feelings and there is no element of stress in being creative since there are no tests or grades and everyone is simply being themselves in art class. Our hope is that everyone will enjoy our journey through Australia and the emotions exhibited by the artists.” 

Art students from across Halifax County Public School System will exhibit their artwork during Youth Art Month sponsored by Parsons-Bruce Art Association.

The exhibit will be on display throughout the month of March and will be available for viewing during the opening reception Sunday, March 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibit also will be available for viewing during The Prizery’s normal operating hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All Halifax County Public School students attending the opening reception Sunday, March 8 will receive a special card that is redeemable for prizes or extra credit as determined by their art teachers.