MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Walking through the hallway of the Crossroads Mall, here, various “ooh’s” and “ah’s” were heard as people’s eyes examine the 37 pieces of art lining the hallway Dec. 15.
Twenty of the 37 pieces entered were selected for regionals.
“Many parents don’t know that their children are artists,” said Eugene Clark, director of youth and teen activities. “Displaying the art at the Crossroads makes it easier for parents to come by and see their children’s artwork.”
The Boys and Girls Club of America and Marine Corps Community Services sponsored an exhibit for competition in the BAGCA National Fine Arts Exhibit.
According to the BGCA website, this year-round program encourages artistic expression among club members through drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media and sculpture displayed at local and regional exhibits.
A panel of judges selects works for inclusion in the National Fine Arts Exhibit, which is displayed throughout the ensuing year at BGCA events, including the annual national conference.
The local exhibit included four different age groups. Nine and below, 10-to 12-year-olds, 13-to 15-year-olds, and 16-to 18-year-olds were eligible for participation in 10 different categories.
Mekhi Chapa, 7, entered three pieces into the exhibit and all were selected for regionals.
“I draw all the time,” said Mekhi. “I’m really proud that my art is going to the next level.”
Parents and teachers alike are instrumental in helping with the exhibit and success of the participants.
“I’m proud of him because he’s so creative,” said Edmond Chapa, Mekhi’s father. “It’s great for the children to be recognized so we do as much as we can in the community.”
The 10 different categories are monochromatic drawing, multicolored drawing, pastel, water color, oil or acrylic, print making, mixed media, collage, sculpture, and group project.
One winner was selected for each age group in every category. Art selected at the national level will be displayed in hotels, hospitals and restaurants for a year. All those who entered artwork into the exhibit will receive a participation certificate.
“It makes me proud that so many are going to the next level,” said Josie Quintana, Matthew C. Perry High School art teacher. “I’m hoping the kids enjoyed themselves as much as I enjoyed teaching them. They put out some really great work.”
In all her classes, Quintana stresses the importance of project instructions and craftsmanship.
“If they don’t follow instructions, they can’t really create a piece that meets project requirements,” said Quintana. “Craftsmanship is the next important step; it shows the quality of work.”
Art work moving onto the national level will not return to the artist, but a photograph will be on file for the artist to remember it.