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Piedmont art club judges show for special needs children

Paige Montgomery, a Piedmont High School senior, joined about a dozen fellow art students in setting up displays at Monroe Crossing on March 19, 2012, in preparation for judging the artwork of more than 130 special needs students throughout the county. (Photo courtesy of Enquirer Journal photographer Rick Crider.)

--(This story is reprinted with permission from The Enquirer-Journal.)

Students from the Piedmont High School National Art Honor Society have been planning a special art show since January.

Monday night (March 19, 2012) was the fourth-annual “Sharing our HeARTS” art show. The art show invited students in the Exceptional Children program across the county to submit artwork. Students from the Piedmont National Art Honor Society judged the artwork, which will be on display at the Monroe Crossing mall until around April 2, 2012.

“Art is universal,”Tracy Price, an art teacher at Piedmont High School, said. “No matter the age or the ability, art always brings spectators.”

This year, approximately 136 students from kindergarten through 12th grade entered artwork.

“I like seeing the kid’s faces when they get the award,” Kelsey Drake, a senior at Piedmont and president of the National Art Honor Society, said. “It makes them feel special.”

“I like how I get to go through the kid’s artwork,” Addie Sykes, a senior at Piedmont and vice president of the National Art Honor Society, said. “I like to see the creativity.”

Sykes was the chair of the event committee this year. She plans to attend The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and study either art education or special needs education.

“The special needs kids don’t really get a chance to participate in things in their school,” Sykes said. She said that each participant receives a ribbon and a certificate.
The show teamed up with Chick-fil-A this year. Each participant received a coupon for “Icedream” ice cream. The Chick-fil-A cow also made an appearance.

The art show is in front of a mural that the Piedmont National Art Honor Society painted in November. The mural is based on artwork submitted in last year’s show. It was designed by Sykes.

“The flowers represent different kids,” Sykes said. She added that they are “all special flowers.”

The mural is a permanent display at the mall. The mall also donated an iPad 2 with a two-year contract to the art department.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Sykes said. “I’m really excited.”

Art teacher Susan Helms hoped that the participants would recognize their artwork in the mural.

There are 50 students and three sponsors in the Piedmont National Arts Honor Society.

The art show came about when a senior in the club wanted to continue working with special needs children.

“It gives our art club the opportunity to collaborate with special needs children,” Helms said.

Written by: Carolyn Steeves, Enquirer Journal education reporter
Posted: Mar 28, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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