Huntsville, Ala – The Huntsville Museum of Art (HMA) proudly presents its 30th celebration of Youth Art Month (YAM) with the YAM 2017: Exhibition for Youth Art Month on display from February 26 through April 30. Congressman Mo Brooks, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Becky Quinn of the Alabama State Council on the Arts and others attended a ribbon cutting and proclamation ceremony held at the Museum on February 26.
“North Alabama is fortunate to enjoy the Huntsville Museum of Art’s leadership,” said Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05). “I always look forward to the Museum’s Annual Youth Art Month and our joint participation in America’s Congressional Art Competition to recognize and promote artistic achievement.
The competition began in 1982 and, since then, over 650,000 high school students have participated. Their participation would not be possible without the committed, high-caliber teachers and mentors who work to maintain and emphasize the value of art education in our communities and to our students. I congratulate those students whose artwork is being recognized as exceptional as we celebrate March as Youth Art Month!”
On view in the Guild Gallery at HMA from February 26 through April 30 will be the Congressional Art Competition’s winning piece chosen from Congressman Mo Brooks’ 5th District. At the end of its display at HMA, the piece will be sent to Washington, D.C. for a year-long display at the U.S. Capitol. During the opening ceremonies on Sunday for the exhibition, awards were presented to students from Huntsville City, Madison City, Madison County, Athens City, Limestone County, Decatur City and Scottsboro City.
“I’m constantly reminded that the talents of the upcoming generation surpass our highest expectations – and that’s true, especially, when it comes to their artistic abilities,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “As Huntsville Museum of Art celebrates Youth Art Month, I’m also reminded that a thriving community is one that values and prioritizes artistic expression. That expression enhances our day-to-day life and our quality of life as a community. We are thankful for the many ways Huntsville Museum of Art makes Huntsville a little brighter, and a little more creative every day.”
In addition to the students’ works being showcased in the galleries during the ribbon cutting, HMA also presented the 17 Blue Ribbon Finalists’ artworks from the Visual Arts Achievement (VAA) Program. HMA is the local VAA District V sponsor for this ASCA program.
According to Becky Quinn, current board member and past chair of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, “The Council has a long history of providing grants that support and enhance arts education knowing that a vibrant arts environment expands a student’s imagination and prepares them for tomorrow’s future. Huntsville’s Youth Art Month will showcase many of those achievements. The Council’s commitment of resources continues to expand the arts and improve the quality of life for all citizens statewide.”
The Huntsville Museum of Art has been celebrating YAM for the last 30 years and has made it a priority to educate the community and keep art a top-of-mind subject for North Alabama residents. “The YAM 2017: Exhibition for Youth Art Month focuses on the creativity and critical thinking skills of the talented youth whose artwork exemplifies the quality of arts education in the North Alabama region,” said Laura Smith, Director of Education and the Museum Academy at HMA. “I’m positive Museum visitors will be impressed by the variety of art – from drawings, paintings, mixed media and ceramics – that will be on display in the galleries.”
The selected VAA works, which were created by local middle and high school students, will be sent to Montgomery to be displayed alongside other regional winners’ pieces in the Georgine Clarke Alabama Artists Gallery at ASCA.
About Youth Art Month
Youth Art Month is observed nationally each March to emphasize the value of art education for children and to encourage public support for quality school art programs. Major support for the 2017 YAM: Exhibition for Youth Art Month at HMA was proved locally by Presenting Sponsor Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc. Additional sponsors included Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Walmart. Additional support was given by The Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Huntsville Museum of Art Guild.
Youth Art Month is endorsed by The National Art Education Association, Alabama Art Education Association, Alabama State Department of Education, and Alabama Alliance for Arts Education and locally by the Huntsville-Madison County Art Education Association.