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Elementary Art Exhibit Returns to Ramer

By Gloria Cortes

The Volunteer State Community College art department has its annual Sumner County elementary art exhibit set up in the Great Hall of the Ramer building until April 27.

The exhibit is free and open to the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays.

The exhibit is a collection of art from student in public elementary schools throughout Sumner County.

“I think the exhibit is a good thing because it’ll integrate schools around Vol State and make sure that they are a part of Vol State as well,” said Vol State freshman Terrell Fitts.

The teachers from the schools determine which art to showcase.

“What we do is we set up the schedule, we arrange the venue and set up one panel for each teacher that’s going to participate [in the exhibit],” said art department chair Nathaniel Smyth, who also is the lead advisor for the exhibit.

Each participating elementary school teacher is given a four-by-eight panel, and they decide what art they want to showcase in the exhibit.

“I think Claire Hampton started [the exhibit]. She is retired now, but she was one of the full-time faculty who, in some ways, kind of built the art program here. I don’t think she was the very first teacher, but she kind of started the process of turning the program into what it is now. She actually still teaches here on a part-time basis. The exhibit has happened for a good 15 years, but I’m really not sure. I know that I have students in our programs now who participated in the exhibit as children in elementary school, so that’s kind of fun,” said Smyth.

Smyth took over the exhibit when he started at Vol State about 10 years ago.

There’s a lot of assistance from a couple of the Plant Operations folks who help with creating the panels, and the teachers themselves actually do the installation, said Smyth.

“I know- at least people tell me- that they get really excited about [the exhibit]. I think the Ramer building doesn’t always have a lot of color, so a lot of the folks who work in that building in particular get really excited about the exhibit,” said Smyth.

“I think the exhibit is a good thing because it’ll integrate schools around Vol State and make sure that they are a part of Vol State as well,” said Vol State freshman Terrell Fitts.

“I feel like [the exhibit] helps show that people like to do things other than math or science- even little kids. You get to see more variety in an academic environment,” said Vol State sophomore McKenzie Burden.

The reception for participating elementary Students and Families Reception is April 4 from 3:30-5:30 p.m., where students will be given recognition and refreshments.

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