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Parkersburg South High School students display artwork at Grand Central Mall

Artwork by Parkersburg South High School students on display at Grand Central Mall.
Artwork by Parkersburg South High School students on display at Grand Central Mall.(Artsbridge)
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 3:26 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Artsbridge is working with Parkersburg South High School to display artwork from students at Grand Central Mall.

The exhibit, spearheaded by Diane McDonald, program coordinator at Artsbridge, and Parkersburg South art teacher Abbie Burge, includes a wide range of mediums and themes.

It will be on display at the mall until February 26. In March, there will be an exhibit of artwork from students at Belpre High School, with students at Warren Local Schools exhibiting their work in April Parkersburg High School in May.

“It’s a representation of all of their art classes, so there’s a little bit of everything,” said Amanda Stevens, executive director of Artsbridge.

Students submitted pieces for the exhibit to art teacher Burge, who selected the artwork currently on display.

“We don’t have as many pieces as we would in a traditional year because we’ve been doing remote learning and we’ve been on a hybrid schedule...But I have so many gifted students, I didn’t really have to pare it down or toss anything aside, it was more about being able to get enough pieces to make a display,” Burge said.

Typically, the students have a number of opportunities to showcase their artwork throughout the school year. But due to the ongoing pandemic, that has not been possible recently. So Burge said she is grateful for the chance to allow her students to safely display their work.

“Normally my students have a lot of different display areas. We’ll have shows at Artsbridge, the Parkersburg Art Center, and even at our school. And Artsbridge had come up with the idea of the mall space because people can socially distance a little better, it’s a less enclosed area,” Burge said.

Burge went on to explain that many of her students who are active in the arts are missing the participation opportunities they would ordinarily have, but are continuing to create art, nonetheless.

“We really have had to cancel a lot during this last year. Sports get a lot of headlines about cancellations, but there are plenty of ballet dancers who have not had a chance to perform this year, and there are many musicians who have not been on stage. Our fine arts kids are missing out on things and they’re suffering a little bit, too,” Burge said. “I think this is a great opportunity to showcase the talent that we have in the Mid-Ohio Valley. And that talent keeps going on regardless of whether we have an audience or not. My kids are hard workers and they produce at home either way, just because they’re artists,” she added.

The display went up on Monday, and Artsbridge and the students are looking forward to more area shoppers having the chance to view the artwork after the winter storms currently hitting the region begin to subside.

The exhibit is one of many opportunities Artsbridge provides to local students, including a number of classes, scholarships, and more.

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