USD 383 students showcased at Early Expressions art show

Ava Sergi, sixth-grader at Lee Elementary, views the art on display during the USD 383 Early Expressions Student Art Show, at the Beach Museum of Art on Feb. 13, 2016. (EvanAnn Boose | The Collegian)

The top 110 works of art selected from over 2,000 submissions crafted by USD 383 students were featured in the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art’s UMB Theatre from Feb. 10-14. The eighth annual Early Expressions celebration of art in USD 383 included a reception and ceremony on Saturday to recognize the students’ submissions.

The Early Expressions art show is a collaboration between the Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation, the Beach Museum of Art, Strecker-Nelson Art Gallery and the Manhattan Morning Optimist Club, and it benefits the school district’s art program and young artists.

Five awards were given for the best in several categories: the kindergarten through third grade division, the fourth through sixth grade division, the secondary 2-D group, the 3-D group and the Best in Show.

Following a reception of cookies, fruit punch and art, family and friends gathered in the UMB Theatre to celebrate young artists and their teachers who participated in the event.

Jim Morrison, a local attorney and president of the Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation Board, helped start the annual art program in 2008. Morrison said he and the rest of the board felt there should be an avenue for students to display art within the community because of the reduction of art activities in local schools.

“It’s been a monumental success,” Morrison said.

Trina Harlow, art education instructor and head of K-State’s National Art Education Association chapter, said this is the second year she has judged the submissions.

“It’s an exceptional contest and quite a feat to judge it with nearly 2,000 entries,” Harlow said. “Both years I have taken two of my KSU art education students to help me judge.”

Kathrine Schlageck, senior educator for the Beach Museum, said the art show has been transformed into something more meaningful than a fundraiser.

“It started out mostly as a fundraiser and it’s turned now into a celebration of the talent of the students and teachers within our school district,” Schlageck said. “I think the reason why the museum has stayed with it is because we have a very strong relationship with the school district. This is as much a celebration of the teachers as it is of the kids.”

Contributing writer for the Collegian. I’m a senior studying journalism and mass communications and working on minors in political science and music. I also manage digital operations as a communications fellow with the Kansas Democratic Party; I do not report on or write about anything political unless it shows up in the opinion section.