By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(March 7, 2019) The Worcester County Arts Council in Berlin is recognizing Youth Art Month with an exhibition of work by local home-schooled students.
Work went on display last week and an opening reception is scheduled this Friday from 5-7 p.m.
The exhibition was produced through a partnership with the Little Dreamers Wellness Center.
Arts Council Executive Director Anna Mullis said she’s had discussions about several partnerships with the Berlin-based center, opened in 2017 and operated by Alexis Southward and Berkleigh Diaz.
“I’ve just met with Alexis and we’ve been talking about all kinds of different ideas,” Mullis said. “They do have a lot of art classes there, and different art and cultural programs for children, so that’s a really great fit for us.”
Mullis said the arts council has long focused on work by local school children and has had partnerships with Buckingham Elementary School and Berlin Intermediate School, among others, but there was a gap for homeschoolers.
“I thought that was very important, to give them a chance to be featured,” she said, adding Little Dreamers helped to make that connection. “The Wellness Center works with all different groups of children, but they also focus on home school,” Mullis said.
The back wall of the main gallery space features new works by young, mostly home-schooled, student artists. It will remain on display throughout the month.
Mullis said Southward and Diaz also proposed a “Plein Air Kids” event to coincide with the annual Paint Berlin event in September.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for years, because we focus on professional artists each year, and this year is going to be our 10th annual Paint Berlin,” Mullis said. “The last few years, we’ve invited students from Snow Hill High School to paint on Main Street, but to have the youngsters ages 5 to 11 there and be able to be introduced to plein air, and what that’s all about, it’s really exciting. I think this is going to be a wonderful partnership.”
Mullis said the event is in the early planning stages, but added, “I do really have a great vision in my mind and I think it’s going to happen and it will be wonderful.”
Also on display this month are works by two arts council co-op members, photographer Charlie Ewers and painter Geo Mcelroy.
The Worcester County Arts Council gallery is located at 6 Jefferson Street in downtown Berlin. For more information, visit worcestercountyartscouncil.org.