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Watching Young Artists Grow open at BCHS Museum
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Hundreds of student made art projects from all USD 428 elementary schools line the displays and walls at the Barton County Historical Society Musuem this month for the annual Watching Young Artists Grow. - photo by VERONICA COONS, Great Bend Tribune

For many, art class was where good memories were made in school. For the next month, visitors to the Barton County Historical Society Museum can take a walk down Memory Lane, and remember the power crayons, paper, scissors and glue held to express childhood joy, and the feeling of accomplishment that came from bringing a project to completion.
Each April, the Barton County Historical Society Museum explodes with color as “Watching Young Artists Grow” goes up. Featuring the artistic talents of the elementary and middle school students of USD#428, this exhibit is supported and sponsored by the Barton County Arts Council and the Historical Society. It may be viewed during the museum’s regular hours. A closing reception will be held Sunday, April 22, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Elementary school art instructors Shannon Wedel and Melissa Watson, along with new middle school instructor Jennifer Christiansen, work with the students throughout the school year on numerous projects. These young artists learn how to effectively use papers, crayons, paints, and other media, construct three-dimensional forms in paper, ceramics, and other materials, and — always — use their imaginations.
As the Kansas Department of Education’s criteria point out, Visual Arts Education prepares students for success in school, work, and life:
• Strengthening LITERACY as the Visual Arts are an essential language;
• Developing a GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE workforce since the Visual Arts develop essential skills for global competitiveness in the 21st century; and
• Nurturing ENGAGED LEARNERS for the Visual Arts promote active and complex learning.