Young artist showcase


Courtesy of Tara Bennett

A young artist from last year’s exhibition presents his artwork on the opening night. This year’s opening night for the Young Artist Exhibition will take place on March 6 from 5-8 p.m.

In celebration of National Youth Art Month, art educators of Tangipahoa Parish have submitted the works of K-12 students to be showcased in an exhibition.

The Hammond Regional Arts Center will be hosting the annual Young Artists Exhibition to highlight the emerging talents of young artists. Opening reception will take place on Friday, March 6 from 5-8 p.m., and the exhibition will be on display until March 27.

Tara Bennett, media coordinator for the HRAC, shared that opening night will include many of the participants and a complimentary snack bar.

“The artists, their teachers and members of their family enjoy attending the opening reception,” said Bennett. “It’s a way to engage the students with art and for their families to take a look at their work outside of a classroom setting. We’ll also have a complimentary sweet treats bar for attendees.”

Bennett mentioned that the submitted artworks come in a variety of mediums.

“Much of the work will be 2-D, but we’ve had 3-D pieces before, including ceramic and mixed-media sculptures,” explained Bennett. “I enjoy looking forward to seeing the really unique pieces.”

Jordan Kenning, a studio art and art history educator and board secretary for the HRAC, shared what he enjoys most about coordinating the event.

“My favorite part is the setup,” said Kenning. “It is one part chaos and one part joy. When you have eight to 10 art teachers scrambling to hang over 120 artworks on movable walls and move pedestals, it can get a little crazy, but seeing the end result is really a wonderful thing.”

Although the selection of artwork is left to the discretion of local teachers, Kenning shared what he looks for when exhibiting artwork.

“I try to exhibit work that expresses a truly original idea, is an example of good craftsmanship and will represent the goal of my art program,” explained Kenning. “Artwork is collected a few days before the exhibition to lay out and hang on our walls.”

Kenning also shared why he hopes to have the support of the community for this exhibition.

“The reason I want our community to see this exhibition comes down to the fact that these works are sharable ideas and creations, which are unique to the students who signed them,” expressed Kenning.

Bennett expressed why she feels the exhibition is important for students and adults to witness.

“It is important to show the kind of impact art can have on an individual,” said Bennett. “If these students make a place for art in their everyday lives, it will be a richer experience, even if they don’t necessarily do it as a career.”

As one of the most attended openings at the Arts Center, the exhibition usually brings in approximately 300 people during the first night.

Kenning explained why people should join in on the opening night atmosphere.

“It buzzes with excitement and pride from our students and their family members,” said Kenning.

The Young Artists Exhibition is open free-of-charge to the public during regular exhibition hours.