Student art brightens hospital in winter show

The halls were alive with the art of children Thursday night at the Clark Fork Valley Hospital.

The Sanders County Arts Council held a reception the evening of Jan. 15 for their First Quarter 2009 Art-on-the-Walls exhibit.

This time the art is a little more special, as all of the art was done by students in Sanders County. This is the first time youth artwork has been exclusively displayed on the Art-on-the-Walls exhibit and it is something that the Sanders County Arts Council hopes to continue on with in the future.

“We’re just so happy that we had so many students contribute their art work for this,” organizer Faye Salamone said. “We want to make this an annual show.”

Even the refreshments and music were provided by local students. Plains High School’s family and consumer sciences class, taught by Linda Knight, provided snacks for the guests at the reception.

For music there were several students from Trout Creek who entertained the crowd with their musical stylings. Bradley Haberkan played violin, guitar and sang, Micah Haberkan played violin as did Doris Page. There were also several students from Plains who showcased their musical talents on the piano. Adam Jacobs, Joel Jacobs, Derick Curry and Jessica Cardenis all displayed their talents on the keys.

The violinists hit the stage first and seemed to enjoy the warm reception they received after every piece they performed.

The atmosphere didn’t change much when the pianists took over either, as much of the crowd settled in for hot chocolate, cookies and good music.

While the organizers believed the reception and exhibit were both successes, they did feel that the turnout was a little low.

“We had hoped to have more of the artists show up this evening,” Joy Nelson said. “But with the weather and school I’m sure it made it hard on them to come.”

The artwork has been on display since Dec. 31 and usually the art council likes to have the reception right after the work is displayed, but this year, because the students were out of school and because the hospital had some prior obligations, they had to postpone it until Jan. 15.

The art was from students from first grade through seniors in high school and Nelson said that in the future she would love to see more of the younger ones participate more.

“We have a great representation from the high school students, but we would really like to see more of the elementary and junior high students take part in it as well,” she said.

Students from the art classes of Kristin Cole of Plains and Eve Stuckey of Thompson Falls participated in the show, and both teachers said that it wasn’t hard to get their students excited about participating.

“All artists want to have some sort of place to display their work, so the students were very enthusiastic,” Cole said. “This was great for them to help express themselves through their artwork.”

Mary Lou Hermes attended the reception and said that she was so impressed with how talented students in Sanders County are.

“I think this whole thing is just really fine,” Hermes said. “It is a lot of fun especially because I know some of these kids who have contributed their artwork.”

Some of the artwork is even available for purchase and Salamone said that any one interested can purchase a piece of their choosing through the hospital’s gift shop.

The art displayed at the Art-on-the-Walls exhibit ranged from self portraits made using crayons and markers to a representation of the United States using string.

There was also art displayed of famous individuals including Jesus Christ, President-elect Barack Obama and Oprah.

“We really like the fact that there is such a wide range of different artwork,” Nelson said. “There isn’t anything here that looks like anything else, it is all so different.”

Darla Best, one of the artists in attendance from Plains had several different pieces showcased and she was excited to show them off.

“It really makes me feel good to have my art out on display like this,” she said with a big smile.

Best had four pieces in the show, one of which is up for sale and done with ink, although she said her favorite medium to work with is graphite.

“I really like graphite, and to me using ink was a way to try something different,” she said.

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