An exhibition featuring artwork by students at McCracken County 21st Century Community Centers will be featured at West Kentucky Community and Technical College's Paducah School of Art and Design until April 18.
The exhibit in PSAD's Alcove Galleries includes the work of students at Heath Middle, Hendron-Lone Oak Elementary, Lone Oak Middle, Reidland Elementary, Reidland Intermediate, Reidland Middle, and McCracken County High schools.
Heath Middle School art teacher Brittany Wentworth said out of the 200 art items featured in the exhibit this year, 74 of those pieces came from Heath Middle School.
Students were not required to stick to a specific theme or art medium while working on their pieces, Wentworth said, but were encouraged to choose a subject or material they personally found interesting. Many began working on them after Christmas break, she said.
"A lot of the students really poured their heart into their work, many choosing to do more than one piece," Wentworth said. "Some students were very proud of other works they had done and asked to submit those as well."
Wentworth said she believes it is a great experience for students, both art-minded and otherwise, to see their hard work displayed in an environment like PSAD.
"It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment, and hopefully encourages them to continue pursuing the arts," she said.
Cheryl Moore, 21st Century Program director districtwide, said their vision is always to explore the possibilities a student may pursue as a career or interest.
"Our 21st Century after school clubs, enrichments, are designed to give our students opportunities they may not otherwise receive during the school day," Moore said. "The hope of the art show is to introduce and connect with students who may want to pursue a career in art, and who may possibly be a future scholarship recipient to PSAD."
Each work of art in the gallery is grouped by school and labeled with the artist's name, grade and artwork title. The community is invited to see all the artist work.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free.