The UMF Emery Community Arts Center will host “Art Madness,” an exhibition of works by more than 550 local elementary students, from Jan. 9 to Feb. 7, at its location on Main Street in Farmington. Artwork will be displayed in the upper and lower lobbies of Emery and throughout the hallways.

An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

“We are very excited to have this special opportunity to showcase artwork from the children in our community, said Ann Bartges, director of the Emery Community Arts Center, according to a news release from the center. “The Emery Center is proud to offer Western Maine an arts venue that celebrates the importance of art in civic life.”

Kendra Stenger, a Mt. Blue Regional School District art teacher, has been working with students in grades two through five to participate in the show. Student artists are from Cascade Brook School in Farmington, Academy Hill School in Wilton and Cape Cod Hill School in New Sharon.

The show includes a varied selection of art media including, painting, mixed media, drawing, weaving, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and some large-scale collaborative work. Content ranges from works of abstract art, observation studies, self-portraits, cultural symbolism and Maine lighthouse studies.

“When I explained to the students that their artwork was going to be in a real art museum, their eyes widened with surprise,” said Stenger, according to the release. “Displaying student work in a professional setting shows the students that I believe their art is worthy of such space and location. Students gain confidence and feel ownership by being a part of their community.”

She also looked to students to suggest titles for the exhibit. Travis Perreault, fourth-grade student at Cascade Brook, proposed the title “Art Madness”.

For more information, call 778-7081 or email [email protected].

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