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Some of them were already planning artistic careers; others had just recently learned how to shape clay into objects.
On Friday evening, they all came together for the opening reception of Youth Art Month at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons.
The 10-year tradition is coordinated between the museum and Huntingtown High School art teacher Heather Smith, who explained she invites all Calvert County Public Schools art teachers to turn in some of their favorite pieces from their students from the fall to January.
This year, the exhibit contained about 140 student art pieces, Smith said.
Though the Youth Art Month theme this year was “Life on the Chesapeake,” Smith said teachers were allowed to submit any artwork that they felt had some type of local feeling or that just generally stood out.
Patuxent High School junior Christina Mason had one of her photographs displayed.
“It’s a closeup of the sand and you can see the water there. ... Rather than a large perspective it gives a deep, intimate look; the footprints [in the sand] are still fresh,” Mason, 17, said of the photo that was taken along the shore at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
Mason said she is planning to study photography in college.
“I’m one of the people who in the rubble can find beauty and I think that’s what photography is,” she said.
One of the newer artists at the show was Barstow Elementary School third-grader Kathleen Struhar, who exhibited an oil paining of a fish “surrounded by plants and crazy flowers.”
Kathleen, 9, said while she liked that particular piece of art, painting was not her favorite art form.
“I like sculpting and I like using clay because I like feeling stuff and I don’t have the patience to paint,” she said.
Sherrod Sturrock, deputy director of the Calvert Marine Museum, said that over the past few years the museum has been holding the Youth Art Month opening reception in conjuction with CMM’s First Free Friday, which takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.
“It’s been a really happy marriage,” Sturrock said. “People who have never been here before come and say ‘what a wonderful treasure, we had no idea.’
“All of it is ways to say ‘hey, we’re not just a museum we’re a resource.’”
Appeal Elementary School fifth-grader Susie Henrichsen was also resourceful in a different way: She exhibited a robot, made out of recycled items, that she had mounted on paper.
Susie, 11, said she made the robot out of the lid of a jar, popsicle sticks and old earrings.
“I like all the pictures of scenes from the Chesapeake Bay,” she said.
Huntingtown High School senior David Huls displayed a sculpture of an owl that he said was made out of aluminum wire.
“I wanted to make it look like it was doing something,” Huls, 17, said, continuing that anime is actually his favorite form of art to do himself.
“I’ve been watching and drawing anime for four years now,” he said, displaying a few anime sketches, including one he recently made of his girlfriend.
“Art’s just a hobby of mine, not a major plan but it is something I like,” he said.
Youth Art Month will run for the entire month of March at the CMM.