Young artists will get a chance to shine with the Dahl's Middle School Art Show beginning Thursday and running until March 29.

The annual exhibition sees teenage artists turning in work to celebrate Youth Arts Month. Fifty to 70 pieces of art will be included from East Middle School, South Middle School, Southwest Middle School, West Middle School, North Middle School and Douglas Middle School.

"It's a very diverse collection of work," said Sean Kittrell Simon, Rapid City Arts Council Arts Education Director. "There's sculpture, painting, drawings, collage work, graffiti, photography."

Simon said participating artists will receive certificates of appreciation, and that artists will be roughly equally represented.

"It's funny, because many of the students are very prolific as well as talented, but we try to make it as fair as we can," Simon said. "We try to limit it to the best pieces from each student."

Simon added that she was excited to see passion instilled and recognized in younger students, and that encouraging students to take part in art would help them have a more well-rounded education throughout life.

"I used to be an at-risk teacher, and I saw that art lends itself like no other discipline in helping kids do better with multitasking, teamwork, mathematical skills," Simon said. "There's nothing like it to promote a truly renaissance education and passion for that education."

She added that attendees would be surprised by the imaginations of the children.

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"A lot of children are inundated with technology and don't express themselves fully," Simon said. "But then parents see their artwork and say, 'Oh my gosh, I had no idea all of that existed in that head.'"

Simon feels that the art show will display both the talent and the intelligence of the students.

"It reveals more depth of personality than adults give kids credit for," Simon said.

For more information about the exhibit, call 394-4101.

Contact Max B. O'Connell at 394-8427 or max.oconnell@rapidcityjournal.com

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