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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsPhoto Focus: 400 USVI Students Kick Off March With Youth Art Month

Photo Focus: 400 USVI Students Kick Off March With Youth Art Month

Youth Art Month, which is celebrated across the United States of America in many different ways, is also celebrated in the USVI by displaying student art for the community to enjoy. 
Parents and community members enjoying the student art exhibit. (Submitted photo)
More than 400 students from over 19 schools and homeschool programs on St. Thomas and St. John submitted artwork for the 2023 Youth Art Month exhibit.
On St. Croix, 16 schools and programs participated, with an estimated 400 works of art created by young artists.
Artist Yashamay David with one of her pieces. (Submitted photo)
The Virgin Islands Children’s Museum hosted the opening of its exhibit on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., during which more than 200 parents, grandparents, and art advocates came out to celebrate youth art. Crucians can look forward to this weekend as the Student Art Exhibit opens at CHANT (Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism) in Frederiksted on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.
Student artwork from BCB. (Submitted photo)
“The arts are one of our core concepts at the V.I. Children’s Museum and we are always pleased to provide a space to celebrate the artistic talents of our young people and to encourage more support of youth art in the territory,” said Executive Director of the VI Children’s Museum Chantel Hoheb, in a press release announcing the exhibits.  
“There are currently some schools without an art teacher or art program. In addition to that barrier, some parents are still unconvinced of the academic and developmental effects art can have on their children. Cultivating a child’s passions and imagination aren’t just key phrases. They are ways to help build your child’s confidence and self-esteem. The VICM is happy to play our part in bringing these issues to light and galvanizing support for our children and their talents,” said Hoheb. 
Leniese Mercer, director of the Ulla Muller Bamboula Dancers. (Submitted photo)
Niarus Walker, a teacher, artist and art advocate, brought the celebration of Youth Art Month to the territory over 15 years ago. “Having spaces where the community can highlight and enjoy the creativity of our children will help to demonstrate the need for more resources to be assigned specifically to youth art and music programs in and out of schools in the USVI,” stated Walker. “Youth Art Month is celebrated during the month of March and in addition to encouraging our young artists, it’s a time to celebrate the amazing art teachers that continue to inspire future V.I. artists.”
Niarus Walker, left, and Maria Stiles — co-chairs of the Youth Art Month USVI Regional Committee. (Submitted photo)
“Encouraging art helps build problem-solving and communication skills while allowing for self-expression and creativity. Studies have shown that these qualities also improve the academic performance of students,” Co-chair of the Youth Art Month Regional Committee Maria Stiles said.
Student artwork from BCB. (Submitted photo)
The exhibition can be viewed on St. Thomas until March 24 and on St. Croix until March 31. Regular admission rates for members, veterans, senior citizens, and Museums for All visitors will apply.
Cancryn and Montessori Art pieces. (Submitted photo)
For more information, please visit www.vichildrensmuseum.org or call 340-643-0366. Information and updates can also be found on the Youth Art Month USVI Facebook page
Sponsors include the V.I. Lottery Community Enrichment Initiative, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, Cape Air, Lindbergh Bay Hotel & Villas, My Car Rental V.I., the Art Exchange, Ninja P, WSTX, and Conch Shell Media.
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