Huntington East High School senior Aaron Zimmerman, 17, stands in front of his award-winning work, seen over his right shoulder, at the Huntington Museum of Art. Zimmerman was one of 10 Tri-State students honored with awards of excellence Sunday at the museum's School Arts of the Area reception.

From Coloring Books to Museums
Area Students, proud parents view their artworks
By John Gillispie, for The Herald Dispatch.

Most people begin their artistic careers with a box of crayons, a coloring book and a goal of staying between the lines. Somewhere along the way, a lack of talent and/or motivation causes many people to toss aside childhood dreams of becoming an artist.

That hasn't happened to the art students from 27 Tri-State Area secondary schools who participated in Sunday's "School Arts of the Area" reception at the Huntington Museum of Art.

On a sunny Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, about 300 students, teachers and parents turned out to look at the same number of art works on display. The reception also included a concert by the Rock Hill High School Jazz Ensemble. Some of the artworks were in acrylic, oil stick and watercolor; others in crayon and pencil.

Crayons played an indirect role in 17-year-old Aaron Zimmerman winning one of 10 awards of excellence presented Sunday. Zimmerman's mother, Cindy, said she realized Aaron had artistic talent when he was a very small child."I just always put crayons in his hand. He colored all the time."

Cindy Zimmerman said she thinks input from parents is important. "I didn't push him. I just encouraged him... I always encouraged both my kids to be the best they could be." Her 15-year-old daughter Ami, a Huntington East sophomore, also participated in Sunday's exhibit.

Aaron, a Huntington East senior said he has always interested in art. "I think it's one of the things that I was born to do." After graduation from high school, he hopes to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, the Columbus School of Design or The Art Institute of Chicago.

Aaron, who is a student of all three art teachers at Huntington East, said the school has a good arts program. He also plans to serve as a junior docent for the museum during the School Arts of the Area exhibit, which runs through Feb.28.

Marion Owens, curator of education at the museum, said the student docent program is rewarding in many ways. "The visiting students respond much better to their peer group than they do to us old fogies," Owens said. "They talk to them and they won't talk to us. Many of the student docents I train have ambitions to enter the art world. It keeps us in touch with young people and how they feel. That's the part I like."

During the School Arts of the area exhibit, student visitors can vote for their favorite artwork. The work with the most votes will receive the best of show award.

Jeanie Vinson of Russell, Ky., was one of the proud parents taking in the exhibit Sunday. Her son, 12-year-old Hunter Vinson, had a work in clay titled "Egyptian Mummy" on display.

Vinson said she makes sure her son has art material to work with at home.

"It's good when parents come and see this stuff. They see what their child can do and then can encourage them," she said.

Ten Students win art excellence awards

Ten students won awards of excellence at Sunday's School Arts of the area reception at the Huntington Museum of Art. Those students, their high schools and names of their artworks are:

Angie Coyle, Huntington East, "Burst of Emotion."
Aaron Zimmerman, Huntington East, "Hallucinogenic Subtleties of the Soul Rest on the Firmament No. 1."
Carter Lewis, Huntington East, untitled watercolor.
William Napier, Wayne "Armed and Dangerous."
Josh Miller, Ravenswood, "Product Design-Graphics."
Terri Cress, Paul Blazer, "Fish."
Christine Boggs, Barboursville, "Still Life With Streamers."
Christina Martin, Hurricane, "Arch Influence."
Jacob Tonski, Huntington, "A Collective Mind."
Dale Smith, Milton, untitled computer graphics.

Article as it originally appeared.

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