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Quinlan to display pieces for annual Youth Art Month
Hall County students work all year on their entries
Students participating in Youth Art Month will have their works displayed at Quinlan Visual Arts Center. These are examples of the 2014 entries.

Youth Art Month reception

When: 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, March 20

Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville

Cost: Free

More info:

This month means March Madness for some and art madness for others.

Artistically gifted students in Hall County will have the opportunity to display their artwork this month at Quinlan Visual Arts Center as part of Youth Art Month.

The opening reception and awards ceremony will be from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, March 20, at 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville. Students’ artwork will be on display from March 20 to April 11.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Gainesville’s, Youth Art Month emphasizes education in the arts, encourages support for school art programs and promotes art supply safety. The competition also allows students to vie for scholarship money and showcase their work in a professional art gallery in Gainesville

This kind of exposure is what many art teachers prepare their students for throughout the year.

“One of my major goals is to get (the students’) work out into the community every year,” Gainesville High School art teacher Sarah Claussen said.

Almost 200 students participate each year and their works adorn the walls of the Quinlan, which donates its gallery space.

“It’s one of our most fun exhibits and it’s always free to the public,” said Paula Lindner, assistant director at Quinlan. “This event is always very well attended.”

And the art students create is unique in design and concept.

“We have all kinds of art on display,” Lindner said. “There’s sculptures, there’s photography, there’s acrylics, there’s collage and there’s also a lot of 3-D sculpture.”

About $2,500 in scholarships are awarded to students in name of the Charles J. Thurmond. Thurmond was an active member of the Kiwanis Club and the Gainesville community.

“He was president of our club and held several leadership positions across the state,” Gainesville Kiwanis Club President Kelly Lee said. “When he passed away, one friend in particular and several other friends decided that they would … pull some money together for this scholarship in his honor.”

Lee said Thurmond was always interested in the youth of the community.

“They thought this was a fitting way to remember him every year,” he said.

Through the fund, the club has awarded $165,000 to more than 75 students to whom every bit of scholarship money helps.

“We’ve heard from a couple students that say that their college of choice probably wouldn’t be able to have them without scholarships like ours,” Lee said.

Students receive the award based on three categories including visual arts, performing arts and writing. And Lindner said the additional prize for students to display their work in a professional space adds to the competition’s importance.

“We have some really talented students and we make it professional from start to finish,” Claussen said. “It’s self-motivated or self-driven.”