B y Jamie Norton

Students and art teachers from throughout the region converged on the Slate Valley Museum in Granville last Friday for the opening reception of the ongoing “Artists of the Slate Valley” display.

The display features art by the students, much of it composed using actual slate as a medium.

“This is the first time that we’ve done an art show with schools throughout the Slate Valley, so that’s really powerful and meaningful to us,” said Krista Rupe, the museum’s xecutive director. “The whole point was to unite young artists throughout the Slate Valley and give them a chance to have their artwork on the walls.”

Art across several mediums was contributed by not only high school students but elementary students from Granville, Whitehall, Fair Haven, Poultney, Castleton, and Dorset.

“I’m thrilled,” said GCS art teacher Jennifer Dashef. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the students. The older students, they can use this and put it on their resumes when they’re applying to college, and the younger students, they get the experience of being in a museum.”

“It means a lot to be invited to a show like this and feel included and feel like we’re all a part of one big art community, even us Vermonters to New Yorkers,” said Darcie Parrott, an elementary art teacher from the Castleton-Hubbardton school district. “I think it gives a voice to the students (and) and outlet for the students. I think it’s important that the Slate Valley Museum gave us the opportunity.”

Using slate and life in the Slate Valley as inspiration, students produced brilliant and creative works that include painting, photography, sketching and more.

“The theme was to be inspired by slate, and it’s so wonderful to see so many different (styles),” Rupe said. “It’s so great to all the different mediums come out.”

“I never had that opportunity as a child, and I just think it’s fantastic,” Dashef said. “(The Slate Valley is) part of their culture and their history, and I think it’s nice to celebrate the kids for things that are important to them.”

Almost all of the students who contributed work came to the opening reception, which Rupe said was very encouraging.

“The response was great,” she said. “We had a lot of students coming in and wanting to know where their special piece of artwork was.”

“I think everyone was really excited,” Dashef said. “I think they were all pretty happy about it, so I’m pretty excited, and I hope it becomes an annual show. It’s a nice idea.”

Those artists who couldn’t make it out to see the display are in luck, as it will be up through March 31. As for making it an annual event, Rupe said she loves the idea.

“I think the response tonight definitely would make us want to do an annual one,” she said. “Of course, we’d want to showcase the students that come into our museum every day on class trips to see something of theirs on the wall.”SVM Art Show

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