Monticello Teen Art Show starts Thursday
MONTICELLO — If there is one thing Ryan Stripens has learned in his seven years as an art instructor at Monticello High School, it's that "Monticello is supportive of the arts."
The latest chapter tying into that theme is the first ever Teen Art Show, which will take place at the Allerton Public Library from March 13-18. An artists' reception is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, also at the library in Monticello.
"Our theme is that it needs to be inspired by a book, poem, novel or just a story you know," said Allerton Youth Services and Program Director Cara Stoerger, who organized the show. Since her hiring by the library last year, part of her mission has been to get more teens through its doors. That has included formation of teen reading clubs.
"The kids around here are into so many things, sports and other things after school. Not that they don't read. We have a lot who will put a book on hold and come in to get it, but having actual events for them is hard," said Stoerger.
She broached the idea of an art show with Stripens a few months ago, who saw it as a "great opportunity to get kids involved in the community, and a perfect opportunity to promote the talent of the young artists here," said Stripens. Students display artwork at the school, most notably during a display the first week of May, but opportunities to exhibit off campus are more rare.
The show will feature artwork of sophomore and junior art students, and Stripens said they have been using media from colored pencils to water colors, "and a lot of kids are doing mixed media work."
It is a nonjudged show where the art is required to be two-dimensional.
Allerton Library is coordinating the event and providing the first-floor space for the display, while the school is providing the artwork and the display boards. Volunteers from the Monticello Area Arts Council are helping put the display together.